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  CSPAN    Tonight From Washington    News/Business. News.  

    September 13, 2012
    8:00 - 10:59pm EDT  

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quorum call: mr. durbin: mr. president? i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to a period of morning business with
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senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: also without objection. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to consideration of s. 3552 introduced earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 3552, a bill to reauthorize the federal insecticide, fungicide and ridinicide act. the presiding officer: the senate proceeds to the measure. mr. durbin: i ask the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate and any statements be printed in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to senate joint resolution 44. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 494, senate joint resolution 44, granting the consent of congress to the state and province emergency management assistance memorandum of understanding. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate proceeds to the resolution. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the joint resolution be read a third time and passed and motion to reconsider be laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate and any statements related to the
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joint resolution be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to calendar number 386, senate resolution 401. the clerk: clent numbered 386, senate resolution 401, expressing appreciation for foreign service and civil service professionals who represent the united states around the globe. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to that measure. mr. durbin scwarks i further ask the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate and any related statements be printed in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i understand there is a bill at the desk. i ask for its first reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title of the bill for the first time. the clerk: h.r. 3949, an act to extend the fisa amendments act of 2008 for five years. mr. durbin: i now ask for a second reading and in order to place the bill on the calendar, i object to my own request. the presiding officer: the objection is heard. the title of the bill will be read again on the second legislative day.
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mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 2:00 p.m. on monday, september 17, 2012, for a pro forma session. that following that, it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. on wednesday, september 19, 2012. that following the prayer and pledge, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the morning business be deemed expired and the time reserved for their use later in the day. that the majority leader be recognized and following the remarks of the two leaders, the senate resume consideration of s., the veteran jobs corps act. the motion to waive the budget act with respect to the substitute amendment, the majority leader, be recognized. following his remarks, the senate recess until 2:15 p.m. to allow for the weekly caucus meetings. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: the senate will be in pro forma session on monday and out of session on tuesday in order to accommodate rosh hashanah. the next roll call vote will be at noon on wednesday. there will be a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to the continuing resolution at
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2:00 p.m. next wednesday. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until
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95 believed that new jobs created and almost 400,000 people dropped out of the workforce altogether. it's simply unimaginable. >> today we learned after losing around $800,000 a month when i took office, business once again added jobs for the 30th month in a row, total of more than 4.6 million jobs.
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>> i have been astounded, for a piece of history that we know so much about, columbus kept rumors journals and boxes of letters and took four trips to the americas and then starting with the second trip there were lots of official scribes and army officials in and all kinds of people doing writing, missionaries. we know what happened. 30,000 people had their hands chopped off. with than 30 years 2 million inhabitants of hispaniola by spanish estimates have been killed. it's part of human nature. no human thing wants to be judged by their darkest day. no nation wants to be judged by their darkest day but when nations have dark days, we have to acknowledge that.
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>> the head of the consumer financial protection bureau said today that a 20% requirement will not be part of of the heroes -- he said the bureau that bureau will also be considering new credit cards and he said that the bureau has issued more than 72,000 consumer complaints. most of them about credit cards student loans and -- >> and i am delighted we can have this chance to hear from
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richard cordray the director of the consumer financial protection bureau and the occasion is his first i believe, semiannual report to congress, so a tradition that we will have a head. chairman johnson is unavailable to attend this morning's hearing. he wanted me to personally thank you mr. cordray for being here and to commend you and your team for all of their superb work. he also asked that i submitted a submit his statement for the record. today is september 13, today short of the four year anniversary of the collapse of lehman brothers and the monumental efforts that started thereafter throughout our financial system to prevent our economy from collapsing and it's important to reflect on the many causes that contributed to that, issues of financial supervision, monetary policy failures, challenges with too big to fail banks, issues with the gses,
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issues with predatory mortgages with exploding interest rates, banks and non-bank financial companies making high-risk bets, chains of derivatives, precatory shopping or regulatory arbitrage credit rating agencies with conflicts of interest securitization products without adequate disclosure and in some cases with substantial conflicts of interest with sellers betting on the security or swaps failure. it's a long list. the point is short and simple. there were a large number of serious flaws in our financial architecture that came to light in 2008, serious flaws that market by itself could not correct. we have taken steps to set our nation's economy and regulatory system on a different path, but those steps require continuous monitoring and improvements along the way.
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no matter how you slice it, simply on the grounds of treating a family fairly, the way anyone of us would want to be treated when buying a home or a car, paying a credit card bill or engaging in a financial track sanction where real money is at stake. to establish a marketplace where firms compete freely and fairly so that consumers can make intelligent decisions for themselves. the point is that consumers, students and families older persons veterans servicemembers minority communities all of us ought to have a shot at building a strong financial foundation for themselves and their
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families. when we do this the benefits multiply outwards to the economy and millions of ordinary families becomes unstable and unreliable as we saw in 2008, outright hazardous. i think your annual report suggests we are well on her way to building an agency that can fulfill its mission and mission before its creation was to often ignored. i think members of the committee look forward to digging and more deeply on the points he will be making today and the important challenge of empowering consumers and creating a financial foundation on which families can thrive. without i would like to turn it over to ranking member shelby for his statement. >> thank you mr. chairman. good morning. today is -- is the chairman has pointed out we will hear from richard cordray the director of
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the bureau of consumer financial protection. the majority holding the cfpb accountable. nevertheless mr. cordray appears before us as always completely immune from congressional oversight except of course where permitted asking questions like today. such questions are especially important now because the bureau's activities. in its first year like leah overshadowed his activities in the years to come. of particular interest here to me is how the bureau has exercised its authority thus far. for example, recently that bureau issued a proposed rule on mortgage disclosures. buried deep within its 1100 pages, that bureau expressed concern over a particular disclosure required by dodd-frank. the bureau said that it found that the new disclosure and i quote, would be difficult to calculate and explain to consumers, would not likely be
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helpful to consumers and may distract consumers from more important disclosures, their words. in response to this finding that bureau is considering as i understand it, exempting companies from complying with this requirement. this problematic statute over raises more fundamental questions i believe about how the bureau will address statutes that it determines to be harmful to consumers. in this case that bureau could ask congress to amend the statute. instead that bureau has interpreted its exempt of authority i believe that it believes that can just ignore the statute, ignore the law. congress needs i believe to clearly understand the balance of this authority as interpreted by mr. cordray here. after all, if the bureau can easily ignore a statute, it
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raises a more serious question of whether congress or the bureau has the final say over what the law is. today i would also like to know more about the limitations on the heroes spending authority. for example dodd-frank granted the bureau the power to set its own budget and spending pirate these without any congressional oversight. in addition to the funds that it receives from the federal reserve, the bureau also controls the money in its victims relief fund. under dodd-frank, that bureau is authorized to disburse any money paid into the fund that is not paid to the victims. dodd-frank only requires that such money be used quote for the purposes of consumer education and financial literacy programs. this is just another way that i believe that the bureau is structured differently from any other banking regulators. the occ, the fdic and the
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federal reserve did not have such as a slush fund. instead they turnover penalties that they collect from the united states treasury. accordingly i would like to know how the bureau will decide how the money in the fund will be allocated and whether such uses comply with the mandate of dodd-frank. unfortunately, without significant reform i believe there is little congress can do even if the bureau misallocated and misuses these funds. until that time comes, it appears that the most begin hope for is a hearing like today where we can merely ask questions. thank you mr. chairman. >> are there any other members of the committee who wish to make a brief opening statement? senator menendez. >> i want to take this opportunity to congratulate you director and elizabeth warren
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and the hundreds of dedicated consumer financial protection bureau employees for the work of protecting consumers against big wall street banks, credit card companies, payday lenders, debt collectors. i think you and the cfpb have accomplished a remarkable amount in a little over a year. if you set up a whole agency, hired hundreds of people, not an easy task. he got a very clean audit from the government accountability office which is great for an agency in only its first year of existence. you set up an important process to take tens of thousands of complaints about credit cards, mortgages and student loans and other products. you created a simplified disclosure forms that consumers understand what kind of loan they are getting into and whether it's good for them and that was wisely -- widely praised by bar were some things. you listen carefully to the stakeholders including members of congress and have been even-handed in taking their
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concerns into account. he began enforcing consumer protection laws already with an enormous benefits for consumers in the tens of millions of dollars in the capital one deceptive marketing practices. so you have done that despite the fact that many members have fought tooth and nail against the consumer financial protection bureau. they fought to ensure that the agency did not exist. they fought for big carveouts from it and they fought to ensure that no one would even become a director. even now there are those were fighting to defund or come up with new ways to overrule the bureau, however they can. but, i know that the president and congressional democrats including myself have fought hard to create this agency and dismantling it or weakening its would be a terrible mistake. with devastating financial crisis that we just went through would not have taken place if
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someone had been standing up for consumers instead of just wall street. great consumer protections would have stopped the mortgage lending trips -- tricks and traps for consumers. we should hold wall street lenders and providers of financial services accountable for whether they treat consumers fairly in the consumer financial protection bureau is doing exactly that by setting clear rules and enforcing them where you have the power to do so so i look forward to this hearing about the progress as well as about some issues that i want to raise and about you continuing your important issue. thank you mr. chairman. >> is there anyone else who would like to make an opening statement? with that we have a chance to get direct link started. senator hagan do you have an opening statement you would like to make? welcome mr. cordray. we are delighted to have you here and this is your opportunity to make your
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statement. senator akaka do you have a statement? >> thank you very much mr. chairman. thank you for holding this hearing on the semiannual report to the congress. i must say that in its first year, the cfpb and the bureau has made great strides in educating, empowering and also protect the consumers in the financial marketplace. there is still much work to do and this hearing will certainly give us an opportunity to know what you have done and what you have been doing and maybe what can be done later on. but i wanted to take the time here to tell you we truly appreciate what you are doing and your staff as well in
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helping to consumers from hawaii as well as in the country, and so i look forward to hearing your testimony. thank you mr. chairman. >> i would like to remind my colleagues the record will be open for the next seven days for opening statements statement and any other materials you would like to submit for the record. with that is to cordray you may proceed with your testimony. >> thank you mr. chairman. members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today about the semiannual report of the consumer financial protection bureau. as i've said before i still feel this way every chance we have to come at your invitation and speak to you about our work we are eager to do that and we appreciate and respect and understand the importance of the oversight. just over one year ago the consumer bureau became the nation's first federal agency focused solely on protecting consumers in the financial marketplace.
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the semiannual report we are discussing today covers her kidneys from january 1 through june 30 of this year. as the report shows we have been using all the tools at our disposal to help protect consumers across this country. we have placed -- fair and transparent and competitive consumer financial marketplace. for our regulatory tools we have proposed smarter rules that will help fix the broken mortgage market with common sense solutions. wewe are writing rules to simply mortgage disclosure forms and rules that make sure consumers do not receive mortgages they do not understand or cannot afford. our rules will bring greater transparency and accountability to mortgage servicing and a careful process is that before we propose a rule a team of attorneys, economists and market experts evaluate potential impacts, burdens and benefits for consumers, providers and the market. our push for accountability extends beyond mortgage servicing.
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we are holding both banks and non-banks accountable for the following the law. breaks my appointment on banks had never been federally supervised. the financial reform law specifically authorized us to supervise non-banks in the markets of residential mortgages, payday loans and private student loans. we also have the authority to supervise the larger participants among non-banks and other consumer finance markets as defined by rules. so far we have at a credit reporting companies to this group. is important is exercise sensible oversight of the consumer finance market but it's also important that we empower consumers themselves to make responsible financial decisions. our know before you owe campaign involves is working to make mortgages, credit cards and student loans easier to understand. we also developed as cfpb and interactive on line database for the answers to consumers most frequently asked questions. we also launched the first-ever database of individual
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complaints about financial products starting with credit cards. consumers can use the web site to review and analyze information and draw their own conclusions about the customer service provided with these financial products. we also think it's important to engage directly with consumers so we know more about the struggles and frustrations they encounter in their daily lives. the bureau has held numerous field hearings across the country so we can talk face to face with consumers in a variety of topics. our web site has a feature called tell your story which encourages consumers to share with us their personal stories to help inform our approach to addressing issues in the financial marketplace. and perhaps most significantly we help to resolve consumer disputes with lenders by taking complaints on our web site that consumer finance.gov as well as by mail, fax phone and referral by other agencies. september 3 we have thus far received 17,297 consumer
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complaints about credit cards and mortgages and other financial products and services and the pace of complaints have been increasing over the past year. all of these processes, rule-making supervision enforcement and consumer engagement, provide us with valuable information about consumer financial markets. we engage in extensive outreach to large and small institutions including banks and non-banks together the best current information as we make policy decisions. we pride ourselves on being a 21st century agency whose work is evidence-based. so we also conduct their own in-depth studies on consumer financial products such as reverse mortgages and private student loans. we have issued public requests for information to seek input from consumers industry and other stakeholders on issues such as overdraft fees, prepaid cards and the financial exploitation of seniors. the new consumer bureau has worked on all these projects while being engaged in start up activities to build a strong foundation for the future. the bureau has worked to create
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an infrastructure that promotes transparency accountability fairness and service to the public. our first year has been busy and full and this report reflects considerable hard work done by people whom i greatly admire and respect. tear up the highest caliber and deeply dedicated to public service. we look forward to continuing to fulfill congress's vision of an agency that helps all americans by improving the ways and means of their financial lives. thank you and i will be glad to respond to all questions. >> thank you very much for your testimony and as they began questions i will ask the clerk to put five minutes on the clock for each member and i will jump in quickly here. you note that through those various ways that you solicit consumer feedback i believe there has been 55,000 or so complaints and that is enough that i'm sure you start to get a picture of what's happening across the country and out of those complaints if there were three or four issues that seemed to rise above the rest in terms of citizen concernconcerned,
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what would those be? >> thank you mr. chairman for the question and part of this reflects the fact that we have been staging at different periods our ability to receive consumer complaints on different types of products so we started with credit cards. we have added mortgages. we have now added private student loans and deposit accounts and a few other items. and we will be adding more as we go. in the areas of mortgages and credit cards and student loans, which perhaps stick out the most, we have received the most complaints about mortgages. frankly i think this probably reflects the same thing you and your staff are finding, that people who call and contact their offices in need of help sometimes desperately in need of help are the same kinds of people who contact us with lots of concerns about difficulties in paying their mortgage, what is happening when that occurs whether there is any possibility of working on some sort of
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provision or plan to deal with the problem in the urgent crisis it creates for a family in a household, various problems with mortgage services which are the same kind of know your staff and we experienced the frustration of dealing with some of the mortgage servicers who frankly provided poor customer service and some of them actually do a decent job and some of them have not done a decent job. those up in a lot of sources of complaints for us. on credit cards i actually think it's notable that, from my standpoint and we have received fewer complaints about credit cards than i would have expected. i think some of this has to do with the effects of the c.a.r.d. act and i think some of it has to do with a greater process on customer service by the credit card companies themselves. i've been to a few of the processing centers where they take consumer complaints and they are working that very hard. i would also say they have been quite responsive to the bureau and the consumers with directed at them in terms of providing relief so i want to know that
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for the record. and on student loans is the same similar to the mortgage were a lot of people are falling behind on student loans and a lot of people of crushing debt loads and they are finding it difficult to work with the party on the other side to try to understand what their payment options are, but their rights are, how they can try to manage the situation and how they can try to reach an appropriate resolution. certainly a piece of your work involves creating a fair playing field and eliminating deceptive or fraudulent practices but another piece of it is on the front and, financial literacy, financial education. i want to note that my collie, senator akaka, has been i think very visible and aggressively working to tackle this topic for a very long time and i think you've senator akaka for your leadership in this area. so now with the organization your organization and your mission which includes financial
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education or literacy, do you have some insights on what we should be concerned about or up ways we can proceed to help our consumers be better at judging the opportunities they see in the marketplace? >> thank you senator. this has been a particular passion for me going back to when i was an official in ohio and we worked on getting it incorporated into the high school curriculum, that every student should have personal finance education before they graduate from high school. that is now a law in ohio and should be a law across the country. is important for that to be the case. this is so important for people being functioning citizens of our society that they are able to cope with their financial affairs. i have always been quick to say when i've been asked and sometimes people ask me when i'm the head of of the consumer agency don't you think consumers bear responsible for their own decisions? i absolutely do. i think we all have to bear
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responsibility for decisions. having said that there things we can do to make it more feasible to consumers to cope with some of the complexity of this marketplace. our know before your project on mortgages, credit cards and student loans are directed at reducing the gap between people's capability and the difficulty of the decisions they are faced with and i think that financial literacy efforts around the country or something that this nation and the states and local school districts are going to have to pay more attention to. i think it's in the interest of employers to have employees who are not distracted by having various financial problems that make them risks in the marketplace and i think we have the opportunity to work with churches and other institutions that i can care deeply about the well-being of their congregations and memberships and want to see them succeed both material and spiritually. i think this is quite important for the country. >> thank you very much and with that i am going to invite senator shelby. >> thank you.
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mr. cordray, you use the word complexity a second ago and we will get into some of this now. .. good appears in section 1058 and a half. do you believe that there is an exception modification authority in section 10328? >> it's a very good question,
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senator. i'm sure there are lawyers outside the bureau as well. we do have exception authority under several different provisions of the statues we administer. >> my question was to have under section 1030 2a? >> yes, including 1032 a. >> i want my staff listening to this. >> all-district from the statute and imitate as they go says that the bureau -- the title of the section as disclosures and it states the bureau may prescribe rules that the features of any consumer product or service initially over its terms are fully, accurately and effectively disclose to consumers in a manner that permits consumers to understand cost benefits and risk associated with the product or service you might suspect
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circumstances. it then goes on to describe model disclosures, the basis for rulemaking. it describes the safe harbor and everyone that uses a model form included with the rule shall be deemed in compliance with respect to such model form adventist closure programs which gives us some latitude to work at disclosure programs to test our database bond and addresses issues. >> mr. cordray come another question this area. in other words, the bureau's authority to write rules includes the authority to exempt and modify statutory requirements. that is struggling. if a statute is clear, i don't believe you can change that by a
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rule. do you disagree with me on that? if the statute is clear, unambiguous that you cannot change that statue by rule, you or anybody else. i asked your question, yes or no. >> my answer and explain my answer? >> at first when she demands there. >> this is one provision scu asked. truth in lending has other provisions. some more explicit than this, but it's clear congress intends this to your to two rifles around disclosures and to clarify and interpret the laws that congress has provided us with. in terms of ignore, absolutely do not think we should ignore statutes and will be subject. >> i will say interestingly enough there's many requests for us to consider exemption authority for our modification
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authority to consider how provisions of law actually applied a practical matter to different banks and other institutions. part of our rule writing function is to take comments from individuals and stakeholders across the spectrum and how best to apply the law to the rules because we have the delegated rulemaking authority. the question is still consider you as a consumer bureau can ignore or rewrite the law. >> it seems like that is what you're doing. i hope that is not what you're doing. if you do, which are accountable. i fully welcome that. >> have got nine seconds. in your testimony work its will, you state the bureau has supposed smarter rules that will help fix the broken mortgage market with common sense to your
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words. mortgage rules proposed by the bureau hovered clued compliance costs. hundreds of pages and one ruling seems a thousand pages. these costly and very complex rules present greater compliance challenges for small banks and two large banks, which we all know large compliance have more money to fight into play. explain to us why these rules will not put small banks at a competitive disadvantage because they provide so much of the american people, especially small business. >> i share your outlook on that, senator. i speak to community bank groups in effect -- >> are you going to do with their? share share my concern. >> and a number of ways. firstly have an advanced theory to talk about the kinds of
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concerns and issues about any sort of burdensome coagulation and regular sori uncertainty database. second, we do have the authority and this is the exception authority questioned earlier to exempt smaller institutions from rules that don't necessarily make as much sense to comply to them given the community bank is this model, which is that they are responsible in my view model of finding and dealing with customers. we have and will exercise that authority where we hear from small business proprietors that they have great concern about the impact of potential growth and persuasive case make about how their business model does not implicate concerns about pool could be present in the mortgage servicing roles in our mortgage loan -- origination rules and we will use it where that's appropriate. again, subject to oversight from this congress and subject to oversight from the course.
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but i think that is appropriate because i have the knowledge to very much believe small predators do not create the problems that led to the financial crisis. we should not solve the financial crisis that he'd been unnecessary upon them. of course the devil is always in the details of data were working hard on those details as we go. we just exempted thousands of small providers from our new remittance role. they will not have to comply with it if they do fewer than 100 transactions per year. i was interpreting for normal phrase that congress used on not rule and we will continue to listen carefully to them and try to react and respond to them or we have authority to do so. that's our outlook and then i'm happy to come and speak to any time you and your colleagues have concerns in that regard. the regard that as a quite important issue for us. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator reid. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, mr. cordray. by my rough count, collects before the committee 26 times
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and beating the reception with respect to military personnel doing his job. your interaction with conference is quite frequent and represents your willingness but understanding of the need to communicate with us and are understanding the need to supervisor dvds. so the second point i want to mention is the mention to know before you know program one of the great powers he will is the power informing consumers about choices they can make when you go econ 101, one of the assumptions is to have perfect knowledge of what is going on. and frankly, one of the observations that'sbvious from the crisis of zero latecomer 09, as it was a one-sided operation.
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consumers had little knowledge or projects. they will make markets more efficient and more competitive and as a result, benefited not only the consumers, but the markets in general. so with those planes to make it to the question. he recently settle your first major enforcement actions, which was respect to credit card operations of bank refund $140 million to potential that dems said they got a rebate essentially from this practice. you require additional penalty of 25 million to your agency and also 30 million to occ. you also publish a compliance bulletin that puts other institutes and practices. can you impose the action since this is the first one, it's appropriate for you to comment
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on it and also it appears to me and i confirm that the individual entity essentially agreed that what they were doing was not consistent with the law. is that fair? >> thank you on the senator for section. let me talk about our approach. specific investigations or nonpublic would not be fair to companies investigating to talk about those investigations when they may not amount to anything in the end. they don't have a chance to speak for themselves. among the things i think this first resolution illustrates and we intend in our approach is first of all we want to try to give broad but as specific as possible notice to all participants in the market about the concerns that we see that are potentially violations of law. and this particular occasion involves deceptive and misleading marketing of
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products, which is clearly in violation of law. it has been long true. but in terms of if that actually means in marketing a particular product, that can be a little difficult for people. i don't think there was here, but that's why we also issued a compliance bulletin to give people notice that they should think about their own programs and look at this time i did this. we also made vent them are very specific about particular problems identified here suspect that this was no clutter to her running foul of that or not. secondly, i think this illustrates we're trying to be very cooperative with our federal agencies. it is important for us to go hand in glove as we address institutions that we don't want institutions to be confused or do what the situation for somebody same went being a summons is another thing. it's not good for us, not good for them. a third point i would make as we
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attempted to shape the restitution to consumers in this case so as easy as possible for consumers to receive that restitution. as many instances where consumers are entitled to some sort of relief, but it's difficult for them to get to it. they aren't aware of it. it's a hard process to get through. we want to make idc. the other thing i want to say and i want to state clearly and publicly because it got lost in the shuffle because of the sort of attention to our first enforcement action. the institution here at capital one responded in my view extremely responsibly to the problem when it was identified. when we spoke to the leading officials about what we have found, there is distressed and concerned about it as we were and they stepped up immediately to take it head-on, not to try to deny responsibility, minimize it or suggest someone else was to blame, even though it involves third-party vendors could be addressed it, resolved that can also then reviewed
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other practices. but i was ahead of an institution i would hope that was the way he would've handled the situation. it was quite commendable. i wanted to have a chance to say that publicly. >> it was also with respect to the enforcement action and in addition to her hope i presume from what you said is that by identifying this come that will get the opportunity for other companies in the fields to self correct and adopt the same level of responsibility and business practices capital one. >> we very much want and intend them to do that. there were with supervisory authority and will be looking closely at similar issues with other institutions. >> senator crapo. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and mr. cordray, i'm hearing a lot of concern about how dodd-frank will reduce the credit availability because of some of the proposed rules, particularly for a qualified mortgage of increased liability
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in residential mortgage that requires a 20% down payment. what kind of analysis and nation is being undertaken to understand the impact of the cost and availability of mortgage credit between interaction of the u.n. and the qr and proposed rules? >> thank you for asking the question. it's one of the issues that is eating up a lot of time and effort at the bureau, the rightly so. so the issue is we are required by law, congress passed a law degree implemented, to read various mortgage tools that will attempt to improve some of the problems perceived in the mortgage market that helped lead to the financial meltdowns and resulting recession crisis. there is no question but that was a problem and part of the problem with banks in the market were not regulated here that was never going to work as a model. the rule you're asking about in particular, the qualified mortgage will has to do with
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determining that there is an assessment made, responsible assessment of the ability to pay before it's made. you may think that might not be necessary. i should they be told to pay attention to it at the bar is lending money to repay the loan. there's no assessment of the financial situation, often falsification of that in part because there is not sufficient oversight and there were rules of the road in place to govern bull market. we are mindful of the fact that part of our charge and the log is we are supposed to do we want to pay attention to access to credit for consumers. it doesn't do anybody any good to develop an elaborate set of protections that nobody is then going to lend money to consumers. that doesn't help consumers and would be a failure on our part. that is part of the reason i'm the mortgage will come which were due to finalize by january,
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we have slowed down a little bit. we put it out for further comment. we have sought more data and which to make judgments. we absolutely don't want to make a judgment that is going to freeze up for further constrict credit in the mortgage market. we've got more data collaborating with us hfa another's and we are going to use that to make the assessment here. the final thing i'd say as any to keep in mind the biggest hit to access to consumers and small businesses and everybody in our economy has been a financial crisis of 2007, 2008 has caused many institutions twofold. it is straight up credit in local communities. we need to make sure that does not happen again to the extent we can prevent it. cleaning up the mortgage market is critical to making sure we accomplish that. at the same time, we need to be mindful that people don't go overboard here. we need to be able to give confidence to lenders that they
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are able to land another market that can function. we don't have a good function market today is four years after the financial crisis. the miniature member. >> i pursue your attention to address these risks that we now understand were serious problems. but again, getting back to the core issue, we don't want to create a further problem in our effort to address the risks. you know, you indicated another way secretary baker recently testified that as we move forward, we must take care not to undermine the housing market showing signs of recovery that is still weak in many areas. we need to address these risks in a way that doesn't restrict the availability of credit unduly. i have asked you before to convene a small business advocacy review panel. i'll ask you again. he seems to me to try to minimize the unintended consequences that the cpb should convene a small business panel
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to discuss the impact of the proposed rule. given the potentially significant impact of the qualified mortgage rules in particular on the housing market and the gross recent notice that you're going to step back and take more time to look at this seems this would be a perfect opportunity to move ahead and do as i did the statute requires and initiate a small business advocacy review panel. >> so it's a fair point. by the way very much very much agree with the statement by secretary greater in the state. in terms of the q. and rule, the panel does not originate with the fed. we did though here the concern we recently did convene an opportunity where many small providers have the opportunity to give direct input on the rule, especially for that purpose. we also have the comment. brooklyn can come in and many
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are doing so. so again, it is our intent that we break this rule carefully, that we be mindful of the fragility of the mortgage market. i also have to say for the record the 20% down payment you mentioned is not part of our proposals from enacting the proposed that would not make sense of some role that would be imposed on the mortgage birkett. that is not going to be part of virus -- are not supposed to speak about proposals before we finalize them. >> i understand the federal reserve started the rule that their technical argument for small business advocacy review panel requirement does not does not apply to falluja seems to me that the time comes you should take a times and i don't understand why there is resistance to going ahead in conducting a small business review panel. >> we are not at all sure that we have the time given a january deadline to engage in the entire
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process that normally is. however, what we did was convened a panel to get the input because we want to have the input and we've done that and continue to do that. so i think we're trying to meet the spirit of that without blowing past january deadline which is bad for the mortgage market because they're trying to resolve the regulatory uncertainty here. congress has imposed a deadline and we take this seriously and we intend to me that and consider it a law that binds us. i am happy to have first passed talk further with your staff about that concern if you'd like. >> thank you. >> senator akaka. >> thank you for much, mr. chairman. mr. cordray comic thank you so much for what you are doing. i just wanted to talk about the nonbank from what i've been trying to do is to reduce the numbers of on bank and under
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banked and has more of them work with the institutions. yesterday, the fdic released its national survey upon banked and under banked. they reported that the percentage of on bank households increased from 2009 to 2011. i was disappointed of course because of the increase, to learn the number of on bank households increased by more than 800,000. direct your cadre, could you please discuss the bureau staffers to increase access, to mainstream financial and two shams for the nation's nearly
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10 million on banks and 24 million under banked household? >> thank you, senator. this is a very urgent concerns i think for anybody who is mindful of the real consumer experience in the financial marketplace. there are many millions of americans who have no bank account or access to the banking system. some of them are barred from the banking system because of previous difficulties. very many others who at the bank account, the fine for a variety of reasons that they prefer to utilize many un- banked service says to get cash to meet the necessities of life and don't therefore have the same protections in doing so that they would have within the banking system. so is present yesterday at the fdic for the unveiling of that report. chairman gruenberg who is
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thoughtful and mr. got invited me and several virus out there to study. their presentation of the report. unfortunately, they only started doing the reporting 2009. would've been interesting to see what the numbers would've been from 2007 to 2005. my sense is they have increased take away the past six years because of the financial crisis in a difficult situation that put many people in. what is interesting here to me is the answer for many individuals will be finding ways to get them into the banking system and they'll be better off in the sense that they are more protected than somewhat more regularized relationship, not one-off transactions. there's going to be tens of millions of americans for whom that is not likely to be the answer for any number of reasons. we are trying to understand those reasons, but were also mindful at the zeroth that we don't oversee banks. we also overseen on banks including some of those providers.
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the payday lenders and other nonbank providers and services to people that they are going to an large numbers. we want to be careful about what can we do to extend our consumer protections to those many american ball and moderate income and in what ways does the bank and nonbank system sort of worked together? are not only working at the banking system. we're looking across the spectrum and we care about it all. we have created an office of financial empowerment at the bureau. rosenthal is now having night and he's a veteran of the credit union, community development movement and is building a strategic approach to these issues paper for saddam vows cooperation, particularly the fdic was taken in notable interest in this area, both in washington and across the country. it's a difficult problem to address and solve, but it is one that we very much are interested
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in making progress on. >> thank you very much. i'm glad to hear your efforts so far i'm not. another area that i've been concerned about and very close to my heart has been the servicemembers of our country. i want to stay thank you so much for having holly petraeus -- she did an excellent job. the first meeting we had we decided other top officials of the military and she conveyed what she thought needed to be done and my concerns were trying to protect the service personnel who have been targets for assignment the institutions you
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mentioned. and so, i want to stay thank you and there is a great job and it should raise concerns were raised about the impact of the permanent change of station auditors. my question to you is, could you please provide us with an update on the pcs and the change of station issue and let us know whether you've started to see any effects at the agency guidance released in june. >> thank you, senator and thank you for your very kind to ensure accurate remarks about director petraeus, and everybody fights over her time both within the bureau and we try to share her with all of you that she's been to dozens of military bases across the country since becoming director of our office of servicemember affairs and she
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has brought back to as many concerns, not only to us, the department of defense, veterans affairs and many been addressed in part because the respect people have for her and her work. on the permanent change in particular, there has been some significant responses on the problem for anybody less familiar with it is in the military they face a particular problem at times. they gave peremptory orders that they have to move their permanent change of station from one place to another. they may or may not have an easy time at selling their home to be able to make that move. in this climate, spend more difficult. sometimes having to make our decisions about leaving their family because the homes underwater and they can't easily sell it. going off of love sometimes for years were selling the home and a considerable loss and they've not been able to qualify for some of the programs that are meant to try to minimize some of those struggles for people.
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so because of ms. petraeus this effort, they can't program was recently modified to recognize the permit change of station as a hardship that could qualify servicemembers and family members for consideration the modification programs. we recently issued guidance in all of the federal regulators joined in a supervisory guidance to all institutions to be mindful of responsibilities under the law, both to respect the servicemembers civil relief act rights of servicemembers and also to be forthcomng in considering how they can address the situation and that options are being presented, early and working closely with servicemembers, that they are clear, but they understand what can be done and that they make hackers to modify loans is appropriate in order to recognize this peculiar hardship that military have the regular civilians often do not have.
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so she is a one-man gang on these issues she's getting operations rather part of the government to address them. having said that, there's a lot of hard work everyday. we do that work in consumer response. i know it says or do not work or particular have a problem in doing the best to do with the problem. >> thank you here to really appreciate that. my time has expired. >> senator corker. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you for being here and i appreciate your questions. i'm continuing to read stories about the under banked in our country and i know we always have unintended consequences when we pass legislation and try to help folks. i know another story came out today and things i when we pass interchange rules for especially lower income consumers, they
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move out of banks and to payday lenders and other kinds of institutions. i know you have jurisdiction over both. what are you doing inside the agency? i mean, all of us want to make sure we have appropriate credit availability. what are you doing inside the agency to strike that balance? because there is no question that we have passed last year that really hurt the very people that you're trying to help in many cases as you just mentioned and that is low and moderate income citizens. >> so thank you, senator. it is a difficult problem, when we try to address it new tools we now have. among other things he did create an office of empowerment, which is focus very specifically on problems in taking a wide range of input and getting a wide range of perspectives to do with problems in different communities, often not always in
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coordination or collaboration. >> i don't want to spend too much time. i know you'll talk a lot with senator akaka about this. when members of the regency are dealing with the issues that they are dealing with, are they condescend at the fact that many times when they go into a certain issue, they are really making people even more unthinkable. are they aware of that without getting into a lot of actions? is there an awareness within the agency that can take place? >> yes, it seems to me we are probably more aware than any agency before because once those people -- of people that the banking system, they don't leave our jurisdiction and there's still subject to oversight of me feels a responsibility address problems. so if they have a short-term need them to a site of the banking system to resolve with the payday lender upon broker, whatever it may be, that is all
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within our realm. so it isn't just a go out of sight, out of mind. we are supervising both banks and non-banks on a common basis commencing the short-term credit arcade and in other ways in the mortgage market and mortgage service market. so i do think we're pretty mindful of that, although we are always interested to hear what your staff has been issues they are saying they want to race her attention. we get these issues to the consumer response area regularly on a daily basis. >> let me ask you about the consumer response. i notice you all have a website where people make complaints against institutions and new lists all of those complaints publicly and there's a huge list of those. i understand how you want to complaints registered. what is the purpose in putting this out publicly and in putting this out publicly, do you all actually verify that they are real? i know all of us as elected
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officials have people that make claims about us that are untrue and on the internet and all that. this seems to me you are encouraging that same kind of behavior. i'm wondering what the purpose of having a public website is. >> i am familiar with the phenomenon as well, senator. >> i thought all this being said about you were true. >> i'm sure in someone's mind they are. in terms of what we are doing with the database, we are receiving complaints by the thousands. so that is a certain snapshot of what is going on out there for consumers. we share your concern. we don't want to be putting up garbage data. >> what are you putting it up? my question is less to go out and somebody sent the complaint and he put it out publicly, which makes it real, are you first checking out our complete make sure it's real? or you just allowing it to be a cost of word for people to take out their vengeance on organizations.
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and may well deserve it, but i'm sure in some cases do not. >> this is discussed all over the internet. vessel were trying to do. we do verify the customer relationship. we moved duplicates. >> before they go up? >> now within our jurisdiction, but we do not report that as well. the data we are reporting this aggregated data. and so, it is a snapshot. it is a picture that has been some concern about it when i first started to do it. it's something other parts of the government, that highway safety administration and the consumer product safety commission. i think people are starting to understand the were trying to do, which is that we find this information, and we do, very soul to inform our work group we think the public should have access to information and may
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well and from them in terms of customer relationships and customer service. we do find it somewhat incentivizing companies to think harder about how they can serve their customers better. but that nature mentis responds in terms of responsiveness to consumer problems. and in some ways they've shown very well in this process. >> you're really helping me move along here. you mention referring to other agencies than it made me recall one of the things that hurts consumers is bad behavior by other consumers. bright? in other words when we have fraud by one consumer comment actually drives up the cost for another consumer. you mention last time here, remember very specifically that if you saw fraudulent behavior on behalf of consumers that she was going to report that two other agencies because you acknowledged when you hear that that is very damaging to other consumers who play by the rules.
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how much of that have you done? >> so in terms of referring matters for potential criminal prosecution and the like, which we have the authority to do to the justice department. i can't really speak about -- publicly about -- >> admits of ancient order of magnitude of those referrals. >> i would say first of all there's a number of situations involving fraud committed by individuals we ourselves are investigating and will it drive. when a further first enforcement actions is now a few individuals engaged in this scheme that is covered in people than 25 or more states. a very significant problem in the kind of thing we stamp out around the country. not easy to stamp out, but we will work to do so. >> so if we see instances of wrongdoing by anyone in the course of our work, we have an obligation to report those where
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we think they rise to the level of being reportable. i don't have numbers for you and i don't take is supposed to discuss any individual cases that regard. >> no, certainly was not even asking. i would just say again that it hurts consumers to play by the rules for.net today takes place. we have a situation right now where foreclosures are taken 378 days. and again, if a player not supposed to be foreclosed on, they shouldn't. on the other hand, that delay among those who are paying is creating issues for those consumers who play by the rule. i know my time is sad. i will say in closing i do hope that i know you've put qualified mortgage issue off until after the election. agencies and politicians put things off after the elections. i hope as you look at that is
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important for consumers to have lenders that have safe harbors. in other words, they know that if they've done the things they do, they don't end up with a rebuttable presumption down the road the brilliance of driving up costs. i hope as you look at that after the election, you certainly will take that into account. i thank the chairman for being so generous with time. >> were looking at it right now, senator and will take back account as we are receiving the input and advice for many, many sources. >> senator akaka. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. cordray, i've been working with the indian tribes and many tribal communities are concerned
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about the financial literacy and financial parliament of their tribal members. and i'm so delighted to know that you are moving on power event as well and for the american indians, i try to get them to do more thinking about the financial literacy. my question to you, mr. cordray is what could be cfpb due to promote financial literacy to indian country, particularly with friends from the karbala and geico settlement that are occurring? >> thank you, senator for the question. this is an issue that has come
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to our attention, been brought to attention by a number of senators and others. we are regularly engaging with tribal representatives to understand these particular issues for native americans around the country. we were alerted that there issues, to further settlements can do to refer to were funds will be flying into native americans across the country and authorities and scams popping up when people know that funds are flowing they tend to get their hands into them. we have been engaged in consumer education and literacy efforts around where we now the funds will be flowing. we have staff i believe next week working on that issue and coordinating with others in the federal government and locally to figure out it will avoid
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going to be a tragedy of people who have thought to receive funds because they were wronged and they will be diverted to fraudulent operators with error scams. we've been working through and our government fails which is the appropriate levels for us but is the appropriate race back and level at which addresses issues. on the kinds of issues and problems they've raised with us, there may be unique to the american native community will continue to the senate continue to address these issues with them. >> thank you also for your earlier comments on community banks and credit unions. i would like to say that
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yesterday's announcement of the important appointment of don austin lawyer of honolulu to the consumer advisory board and the credit union advisory council. i'm pleased that they will help share their expertise and experience that includes years of working for all these banks and credit unions. so i want to thank you very much for moving in that direction as well. and that is what makes me appreciate what you're doing. you're moving for me in a great direction to help all kinds of consumers so it's growing on you and your staff as well and your staff has been doing a great
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job. so thank you, mr. chairman for a time on these questions. >> thank you, senator akaka. director, let me ask you in the capital one case, was there about an hundred 50 million consumers that god reimbursed? >> yes. there is 140 million covered by the issues that we were interesting and interesting jointly with the occ. and then there is a different issue the occ had raised it was really a set of our jurisdiction where there was additional relief gained commotions the benefits of cooperation both to address all of that together and from the standpoint of the institution to put all that behind it up once. >> but for your region say, do you think this action would've taken consumers would have been saved to 140, 50 million? >> i don't have any way of assessing that, senator, but i
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can say with your regency that pursued this -- >> i do think it under scrutiny to have an agency whose sole focus is on consumer protection and not have to balance that against other significant responsibilities. [inaudible] >> it was, yes. >> you know, in your confirmation process and your modesty is challenge. >> i have to work on that. >> what if we do something right? is on a problem to acknowledge it. so i raise that question simply because for those who are detractors said the agency, here's an example of consumers being saved $150 million by the instigation of this agency. about for the agency, personally doubt. i'll answer the question myself, very much whether consumers would've been protected
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protected in that respect. not to mention the message it sends to the rest of the industry to do the right thing. so i appreciate that. as you may know, i have introduced the prepaid consumer protection act and i want to applaud the agency for starting the process of regulating prepaid cards and i'll look forward to working with the agency to enact provisions similar to those in my bill. the consumers used the prepaid cards has exploded in the past few years, especially among under banked consumers and many of them have already regulated data cards, credit cards and gift cards. this area/the unregulated and many have incredibly excessive ease and work to testerman of consumers as it relates to the knowledge of what they're getting in. i would like to get a sense for me what progress you are making at the bureau analyzing this
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issue and would you anticipate moving forward? >> could come in quite have that question. prepaid cards are actively innovative section of the financial market. there are, as you've indicated in the scene already come a wide range of different product offerings that range from pretty responsible and very possibly an improvement for consumers over other options to pretty terrible and definitely exploitive of consumers. it's a little wild and woolly right now. i also would say that in light of the dynamic, where rules were written to protect consumers more specifically on credit cards and then congress ended up passing the card act were quite interested in having a dialogue back and forth. we have issued -- it actually taken an affirmative step. we will write a post about prepaid cards. we've anticipated proposed rulemaking to begin to gather information on that. we recognize these cars are
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becoming quite pervasive. a lot of people are using them, particularly people who are though a moderate income, but many people use them and they like the safety of knowing they will not end up somehow and death on such a card, although that is not a given with some of the products being offered. we're going to move forward in that area. to the extent you're interested with your legislation and so forth then we can work back and forth, it may be that we will implement this bible and maybe i'll choose to move forward with the legislation. we welcome it all and apply to top back and forth about what we're trying to accomplish in the basic knowledge we are developing in terms of actual practices and concerns and have that discussion back and forth to redo a 10 people use prepaid cards and i think for many people they may not always so the difference between a debit card, prepaid card, credit card or atm card for that matter. they're all in the wallet, the
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shift is that of capabilities that we want consumers to be in the use of all of those. >> well, we certainly want consumers to be and that's the focus of our legislation and i agree to come in many consumers don't know the difference between a prepaid card and a debit card and a credit card. and so, we look forward to working with your staff at the agency. i'm happy to see us achieve the goal, whether that goal can be achieved through regulatory cash or at the messy legislative legislative, so be it. but forward to working with you. i also have long advocated national standards for banks that collect homeowners mortgage heymans, including as the subcommittee chair on housing, sharing a hearing on that issue about two years ago. what progress is the bureau make it in creating national mortgage servicing standards? >> we are making good progress
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on that front. we have proposed a book that is out for comment now that would provide broad protection in this area, which has been such a troubled area in specific roué amends on mortgage services for how they need to address the kinds of problems we have all seen. those rules will be finalized by january. some portions of the rules implement things that congress required us to do and others go beyond and are attempting to provide the kind of protections but is this wise and substantively that consumers need in this area. there may be scope for you further work in this area. we are getting as much done as we can by january. we also have begun examining mortgage services condescending and teams to examine them on the ground, both bank mortgage servicers and non-inc. mortgage servicers. we have taken the occasion to actually meet face-to-face with
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the number of mortgage servicers to convey seriousness about this issue, our understanding that this is one of the major areas of consumer harm over the past five years and counting for people who are suffering in these difficult serpents dances in that they need to be improving their processes and coming up to snuff no, not waiting for rules to take effect, not reading for us to come around on examination scheduled, but getting to pride themselves upfront and we are trying to signal pretty specifically what kinds of things they're supposed to be doing. none of this should come as any surprise to people. these issues have been out there and surfaced for years, the settlement discussions with the state attorney general justice department service them further. there'll the same issues. they know what they need to do. it's a question whether they invest the time and effort and money and attention to do it. and if they don't, we'll be coming to look at them. they are all a notice of that and many to again get up to
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snuff. >> you are looking at this also in the context of the ag can send, settlement agreements in occ and the fed can send orders? >> one of things are mindful is a complicated area where there's been a fair amount of activity. there's the ag justice department cut the settlement, which imposes requirements for a specific amount of time on certain specific parts of the portfolio but doesn't have general flexibility. there are f. hsa guidance to fannie mae and freddie mac which have been very helpful in the area. there are the occ, sad and ranking orders that have been very specific about improvements to need to be made and made an enormous difference. we're trying to harmonize all of that and not end up going in different directions, which would not be fair to servicers and would not be beneficial to deliver value for consumers if
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we simply create more confusion. there's been a lot of interagency discussion and coordination on this. they will continue to be and will have some good results come january and i think there may be further work to be done after that, but we will see. >> two final questions. one is the latter course appeared to be cognizant of regulatory burdens of his actions, specifically when it comes to smaller institutions. along these lines could you tell the committee had their providing regulatory guidance and away that makes compliance simple unworkable, for example, community banks a small amount amount depository of regulated entities. >> senator come i've personally been pushing hard on that of the bureau. i put myself we have on the land willing to sandhurst owsley and clearly that smaller community banks and credit unions did not cause this financial crisis. they have a good solid business
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model that has proved itself by tradition and by experience that we want to be mindful of that as we go about imposing or implementing new rules. we are trying to look at that unable by rule basis as to what an appropriate threshold might be too sad or for certain institutions don't have to dress rules at all because below a certain level it is more burden than it is benefit to consumers. there may be ways in which we can tweet rules for things they alerted us to a special burdens, maybe can apply differently to the smaller institutions. we have took the same time be mindful of the fact that consumers deserve protection and they deserve protection across the board. so it is a balance there, but when we will continue to take a lot of input on because of the sort of philosophical approach that i just outlined that i have and i think the bureau has towards us. we are going to be doing things
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on the remittance rules we will have a small provider guide attempting to boil this all down to sort of plan was straightforward, easier to follow guidance and perhaps a kind of rules that get published in the federal register. we are going to be hearing from them and responding to questions and concerns they have are coming out with pieces of guidance they basedow. we are going to stay with it. for not just going to publish a list and forget and say that somebody else's problem now. it is our problem with the rules get implemented into overvalue for consumers and that they are balanced towards not providing undue burden for providers with the benefit does not correspond. >> i appreciate that view in the context of what the law specifically ask for it. this may have been asked, but i may have missed it. how many complaints have severe received from consumers so far
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about orbiters, credit cards, banks, collections and services? >> well, as of september 3rd, i quoted a number of my opening statement by 72,297 something like that complaints, which is i got it right, a significant number and also a number increasing over time. i think are annualized rate of complaints now as at this moment is 120,000 per and i'm as of now. it's been ramping up. we have no idea when that will level off or wearable of a lot. it's could be several hundred thousand, over a million, we don't know. there's never been a consumer facing perlite isomer trying to be aggressive about interacting with consumers and advocates and others stakeholders around the country. so we will see. but we are receiving right now
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the most complaints coming in on mortgages. we'll get more mortgage complaints included servicing complaints then we are credit card complains and then we are the other products makes some sense. the mortgage market is the biggest consumer finance market out there and those are the heart and soul to people, the possibility they might lose the house or bn beers on the largest single financial obligation, and when their credit -- it's obviously an urgent thing for people. so not unexpected, but the volubly receiving is getting heavier and his hard work for us to keep up with it. >> finally, how are you ultimately -- i don't know if you have -- can you describe the process so when you receive a consumer complaint, what exactly happens? is very success rate or can you give us the rate of windows are verified versus those are not.
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given a quantification of that? >> so we have been working on how we report this and how we understand it paperthin several modifications along the way. we started off by reporting complaints with relief and complaints without really. we got fair amount for ministry that they thought that was a specific enough and in some wasn't fair because there's both monetary with me for sometimes the consumer gets dollars back in other kinds of relief that can also be meaningful to people such as clearing of the problem, removing the obligation that there's a definite gritting the credit poor credit up to more sometimes matters a lot more to people than 75 or 100 fax. that matters to a lot of people. so we have this and changed a few times included most recently in june 1 and were trying to go back and reapply those
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categories to what happened before. were getting more and more data. it is battery data in the sense that is more refined, more polished and i'll be candid about that. we are better now that we were six months ago in six months before people be better and six months than we are now. but those are the kinds of things that we are trying to do. ..
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>> be and if your enforcement role, but we aren't just taking unverified, raw, anybody can say anything about anybody as some of your colleagues identified earlier, but we're trying to be careful about what does it really mean, what does it take tell us is going on in the marketplace. i'm told our crack staff wanted me to tell you that we believe we've received over 3,000 consumer complaints thus far from the state of new jersey. sometimes hard to tell because if they come by e-mail, you don't always know where they're from. but there's a robust appetite out there for people who need and want and are seeking help, and we're trying to meet it. >> well, there certainly is a robust appetite to sort of like level the playing field and have an honest and transparent system, and we believe you're well on the way. with the thanks of chairman johnson and the members of the committee, we thank you for your testimony, look forward to our
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continuing interaction with you, and with that the hearing is adjourned. >> in three weeks, the first of the presidential debates live on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. watch and engage. up next on c-span2, tavis smiley and cornel west talk about the issue of poverty in the presidential race. then teamsters' union president james hoffa. and later, the head of the consumer financial protection bureau updates congress on the progress of his agency. >> i think people really like to see how, where politicians' views have shifted over the years. i think people like to see whether mitt romney 1994 was campaigning for welfare reform, against welfare reform, for abortion. they want to see where he was doing it during his 2002 campaign, 2007. i think people really like to see how these politicians have evolved, and there's sort of an
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element to it that's almost a gotcha element, but there's also an element like people are like this is incredibly interesting. >> i've tried to think why it is that he has changed so often, why he finds it so difficult to come down on one side of an issue, instead sort of floats between both issues. ♪ >> as someone who's running for state office for the first time, does it help that your name is barack obama in terms of -- >> rod's a trailblazer and a hero of mine. >> i think the best way to describe it is sort of it's the viral beating heart of the internet. >> more with becausefeed reporter andrew kaczynski sunday night at 8 on c-span's "q&a." >> you're watching c-span2, with politics and public affairs. weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch key public
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policy events and every weekend the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedule at our web site, and you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> radio and tv host tavis smile ri and princeton professor cornel west are on a tour to discuss poverty in america and the issues relevant in the presidential campaign. we talked to them on "washington journal." >> host: well, two familiar faces to the "washington journal" audience are joining us to talk about what they're up to, but also to talk about the most recent poverty figures that have come out from the u.s. census bureau. tavis smiley, of course, and cornel west of princeton university are joining us here on the "washington journal." and, dr. west, if we could start with you. the new numbers on poverty came out, basically 15% of americans
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are still living below the poverty line. that's even up a couple points since 1967 when the war on poverty really began. what's your assessment? >> guest: yeah, essentially unchanged, 15% living in poverty. keep in mind there's another 34, 35% living near poverty. and then, of course, the gap between the rich and poor, top and bottom still operating. middle class squeezed -- we once had a social structure that looked like a diamond, t more and -- it's more and more looking like a pyramid, masses being push today the bottom, middle class is pushed to the bottom. and travis and i have embarked on -- i should note today's his birthday. he's on a poverty tour on his birthday, to enforce it on his birthday. [laughter] i just mention that because that's the kind of brother he is in terms of his commitment of keeping track of this serious, serious challenge going on. >> host: so, tavis smiley, happy birthday.
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what's the solution? what -- why are we still at 15%, as dr. west said, another 30, 35% living close to the poverty line? >> guest: i think one of the problems is because poor people don't vote at the level of the elite in this society, because poor people don't give big campaign contributions, because both parties, quite frankly, are bought by big banks, big money, big business. people are pushed more and more to the margins so they're really talking about the issue of poverty or the poor is sort of inpolitic. at the democratic convention, the new york times tells us that the word poor or poverty was used three times for every 25,000 words, and bill clinton was responsible for 11 of those references in his 45-minute speech, i guess. he had more time, i guess he had more time to mention it. [laughter] at the republican convention, this will strike some as interesting, the word poor or poverty was used five out of
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25,000 words, so the republicans mentioned it more than the democrats mentioned it. now that's unacceptable. particularly for those of us who believe the democratic party has done a better job on party. people don't want to take the issue on. in the washington right now we ought to be talking about raising the minimum wage to a living wage. when president obama ran, peter, he ran on a platform saying he wanted to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour. it hasn't happened. the democrats have been weak on lifting the minimum wage to a living wage, more like $10 or $10.40 an hour is what it ought to be. mr. obama ran on a platform of eradicating poverty. now, we believe that mr. obama, president obama would be much better on this issue than mr. romney would, but the president has just not been strong enough. >> host: very quickly, tell us about the book. we've covered it on booktv, but give us an update. >> guest: it's called "the rich
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and the rest of us: a poverty manifesto." we argue that poverty is affecting our democracy, it's a matter of national security, and these job numbers that came last friday that were dismal and the poverty numbers that came out yesterday, you put both of those things together, you get a simple narrative, poverty is the new american norm. poverty ought to be abnormal in the richest nation in the world. more importantly, we lay out ten suggestions in the our poverty manifesto that we think can reduce and eradicate poverty in america. >> host: cornel west, tell us about the tour that you and mr. smiley are on. >> guest: well, it's a beautiful affair because we're witnessing our precious fellow citizens of all colors engaged in a magnificent fightback. we accept the kind of worker cooperatives, the various relations of religious activists. and it's all part of an attempt to fight for justice, those who
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hate injustice because they love people. and even we connected with the chicago strike going on now, the deep solidarity we have with our brothers and sisters there as teachers who have been demonized and, i think, been treated unfairly by the mayor. that's part of a fightback. it has to do not with the polarizing of society, but a casting a limelight on the injustices. chicago's 86% of those children are poor, 86% of them are black and brown. i mean, that's a fundamental part of our future. and their destinies are inextricably linked to ours no matter how well off we are, how prosperous we are. >> host: um, you had talked a little bit about in your view the u.s. is becoming more of a pyramid rather than a diamond. does that speak to class warfare? >> guest: well, class struggle.
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it's class warfare if, in fact, poor people and working people are not treated with dig dignit. they have a right to organize, mobile eyes, and you get a class struggle and a war takes place. fannie lou hamer, dorothy day, they knew class struggle was going on, but they had a moral and spiritual dimension to it. it was love and justice, not revenge and hatred. you get class warfare when the revenge and hatred sets in. if you keep the love and justice, you say you know what? we've got to work this thing out together, but the inequality is very real. >> host: are you teaching this semester at princeton? >> guest: i'm back in new york city. >> host: and are you still associated with princeton? >> guest: thyme emeritus, i'm retired. >> host: when did you retire? >> guest: this past may. >> guest: a couple days ago. [laughter] >> guest: princeton, you know, it's a mag magnificent place. i teach a course in the
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political, we go to samuel beckett mediated by chekhov and little eugene o'neill. >> host: all in one semester? >> guest: one semester. [laughter] that's just one course. >> host: tavis smiley, before we go to calls, tell us about your radio show. >> guest: radio show, i do to two shows, my show and the show with dr. west called smiley and west. i've been in the media now for 20 years and most of that spent on pbs and public radio, and i've been honored to have spent the majority of my career doing, trying to do good work at least on public tv and can radio. i think they matter now more than ever. this campaign, in many ways, is a referendum on whether or not we're going to have public it's and public radio in this country. our radio program, smiley and west, is a program where we get a chance to talk about the issues of the day. and it's really our reasoners, peter, who pushed us -- listeners who pushed us. i've been at it for 20 years
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talking about these issues, doc at it longer, on the radio program a few years now. but our listeners really started pushing us to think outside of the box and to figure out what we could do beyond the studio to try to really push this issue of poverty higher on the american agenda, what can we do to make poverty a priority in the country. it was really the listeners pushing us in offering ideas that got me to thinking about what would happen if we would take a poverty tour. so a year or so ago we went to nine states, 18 cities. out of that tour came a weeklong special on pbs, five nights, about poverty in america because we filmed the tour. and then came an invitation to write a book about our experiences, the rich and the rest of us, another 20 cities on that tour. and now here we are unapologetically between the sprint or in the sprint between labor day and election day when the country now is focused on this race. now we're out again in four battleground states.
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we were in ohio yesterday, just drove in all night to come see you this morning. >> guest: all night. >> guest: literally all night. >> guest: a lot of good music too. >> guest: ohio yesterday, virginia today, tomorrow pennsylvania, so four battleground states. one of the things we're saying before you go to calls, one of the things we've been saying, peter, is we want these debate moderators who i respect, mr. schieffer, formerly at pbs, now retired, ms. crowley at cnn, distinguished americans who have been given responsibility to shepherd and to herd these two candidates in these debates. we want them to put poverty on the agenda. in 2008 three debates between obama and mccain -- yeah, between obama and mccain, the word poor or poverty did not come up in three debates. obama didn't raise it, mccain didn't raise it, the moderators didn't ask about it. it didn't get on the agenda four
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years ago. look at the situation we're in now, we can't abide another campaign season where the issue doesn't get discussed. i'm calling on my colleagues, and everywhere we go we're raising this issue, they must raise the issue of poverty starting, respectfully, at jim lehrer at the first debate october 3rd. >> host: tavis smile ri, cornel west. deborah in ohio, you are on "washington journal" with our two guests. >> caller: good morning, gentlemen. >> guest: good morning. >> caller: there are a lot of things i could say, but i want to give you my brief history for the past month or so. i went back to school four years ago, and i now make a whopping 75 cents more than i did before i got my degree. i make a whopping $13.75 an hour, and i consider myself lucky to get it. and i park my car in front of my house because i just sent my
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daughter back for her third year of college which is being financed by student clones completely and entirely other than the few extra pennies we can send her every now and again. i couldn't quite afford my tags, so i got a $115 ticket. and i guess what i'm saying is that i know this seems like, okay, well, she broke the law, the car was sitting in front of the house, and it's $115. that's a week and a half worth of groceries for me, plus gas money. um, i don't think america is interested in the poor because they're the ones they're getting the money from. they're interested in squeezing us for every dime they can get. >> host: cornel west. >> guest: well, one, just know that we're praying for you as christians, and we're pulling for you as citizens. but keep in mind when you say america doesn't care about the poor, the poor help constitute america. poor people are 15% of the population, 35% of the near poor, so it must be the
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well-to-do americans and too many well-to-do americans are indifferent. there's a number of well-to-do americans who are, in fact, concerned, but not enough. so then the question becomes how do you make the issue a major issue, how do you highlight it? that's what in the tour is all about. >> guest: i would only real quickly, peter, when she says america doesn't care about the poor, to pick up on doc's point, there is class warfare in this country. my answer i want to expound on his thesis. i think there is class warfare in this country, dr. west, and i think the class war has been leveled against or levied against the poor. and so when she suggested that they want to squeeze everything out of you, that is the case. for richer americans there are all kinds of loopholes and tax havens and corporate welfare that we offer them. but if you're, if you're poor, it costs money to be poor. and that's the point the sister's raising. it costs money to be poor because they squeeze every single crept out of you. so i resonate with that.
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that's precisely why this issue has got to be discussed what mr. obama and mr. romney have spent most of their time talking about on the campaign trail is the middle class. and we argue in this book, "the rich and the rest of us," that there are three distinct groups in poverty these days. you have the perennially poor, folk who have been stuck there for generations, some of them. you have the near poor, folk who are just a paycheck or two away from being in poverty, and then you have the new poor. and we call the new poor the former middle class. folk are falling out of the middle class through these gaping holes in the so-called safety net. there is no tram mean to bounce them back into the middle class, so the ranks of the poor are growing largely due to middle class losing their homes and jobs, etc. it's a war being waged against poor people. >> guest: no, and i think tavis is right about that. i stand corrected on his birthday. >> guest: no. i'm not -- [laughter] >> guest: i was making the statement between a form of class warfare that leaves toward
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chaos and anarchy when you have hate and revenge versus a form of class warfare where it's led by love and justice, where it leads toward some kind of serious treatment of people with dignity. but you're absolutely right. you're absolutely right. >> host: cornel west, this tweet from d.w. english, it's obvious the current methods of dealing with poverty haven't worked. we're going backwards. what's different about your ideas? >> guest: i think what is distinctive about ours is, one, we don't believe we have a monopoly on the truth, but we recognize that with all the money that this nation has -- not just government and the private sector, we're calling for public and private sector investment in job creation, infrastructure, bridges, sewer systems and so forth, education and housing so that you actually have both stimulus mediated with private and public institutions
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but targeting job creation, not just profit making. and in this nation, you know, we've got so much creativity and imagination, and we have encountered folk, you know, all kinds of ideas that don't surface in the mainstream. that's why we call for a conference for the eradication of poverty led by the white house, bringing all of these various voices, voices together. >> host: harold, jacksonville beach, florida. republican line, you're on with tavis smiley and cornel west. >> guest: i just listened to what mr. west said we should look at in order to rectify the situation. the one thing i didn't hear him say was that he wants to rebuild the white and black lower class families. i've seen study after study that shows if you want to be poor and if you want to make sure your kids are poor, then if you're a female, have a child and go on government welfare. you've got to build good families. you've got to have a man in the
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house and have the man supporting the family even if the government helps. you just can't have a system where you give the money to the woman, and she marries the state, and the man's not even allowed to stay in the home. that is the nuttiest thing where we destroy the family in order to support the woman and her child. >> host: tavis smiley. >> guest: it is a, it's a good republican talking point, a good rnc talking point, and i respect it, and we have heard that time and time again. let me say very clearly, doc and i discuss this in our book, we believe in putting families first. we both came from nuclear families. his mother and father in sacramento, california, with his brother and two sisters. he grew up in a nuclear family. his mother, a schoolteacher, there's a school named after his mother. i saw my mother yesterday, she drove from indiana to ohio to see her baby yesterday. i'm the eldest of ten kids, i'm from a large family with a mom and dad in the household, so we're products of that which i guess underscores your point. so let's be clear, we 3w4r50e in strong -- believe in strong
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families, and that's okay. but here's the real problem. when we get into these talking points about the family and ignore the fact, as we suggested a moment ago, look at this poverty data that came out from the government yesterday. there are middle class families, husbands, wives, families, nuclear families who have lost their jobs because of corporate greed, because of political indifference. there are all sorts of, there are all kinds, republican and democrat, of the middle class who have lost everything theyed that, everything they have worked for, and they're not out making babies, they're not married to the state. in fact, one of the reasons why women and children are falling faster into poverty than any other group of americans is because of what we did to reform welfare 15 years ago. "the new york times" did a huge story about this earlier this summer where they did the data. fifteen years after welfare reform in america, it's pushed more women and children into poverty because they pulled up the social safety net that you
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call welfare, and there are no jobs now, so they fall through those holes and splat on the cement. so children, the usda put out, our agriculture d. right here in washington put out a report that tonight in this country, in the land of the free ask and the home of the brave, 50 million americans will go to bed hungry. nine million of the 50 are children, enough to fill the state of california and illinois. so imagine in my home state of california and the president's home state of illinois that everybody tonight is going to bed hungry. that's the america we live in, that's not about single, unwed mothers singularly, it's about us not making poverty a priority in the country. >> host: and the headline in "usa today," the lead story, "earnings ebb but well-off thrive." talks about the drop in middle class income in the -- >> guest: absolutely. and 1% own 42% of the wealth. what we talk about on the tour. 400 individuals on welfare
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equivalent to the bottom 150 million fellow citizens. >> host: where's the next stop on your tour? >> guest: next stop -- >> guest: today, alexandria, virginia. philadelphia tomorrow. >> guest: philadelphia. >> guest: and west palm beach on saturday. >> guest: we should note this is whistle day for new york city. stop and frisk activities that we've also been a part of, the police stopping and frisking the people. they ought to blow the whistle, 10,000 whistles across new york. but we got a connection in some ways with the struggle against poverty. you can't talk about poverty without talking about the new jim crow as michelle alexander rightly puts it. the bogus war on drugs that has generated unbelievable levels of incarceration of very, very minor o fences -- offenses. and, of course, we've got torturers, wiretappers, but you get caught with a little bag,
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you go to jail for years. you can see the imbalance in talking about the lives of our precious poor people. no matter what color, but they're disproportionately black and brown. >> host: bureau of labor statistics, august nationwide, 8.1%, african-americans, 14.1%. hispanics, 10.2%, whites, 7.2%. why the disparity? >> caller: um, because when white america gets a cold, black and brown america get pneumonia, and that hasn't changed. we studied these poverty numbers on the bus driving all night to see you again, peter, and we saw, um -- i want to know specifically what the poverty numbers yesterday had to say about african-americans. i knew, i knew in my spirit what i thought the numbers were going to tell me, and i was hoping that i was wrong. and, um, i was sad to see that the poverty numbers show that while it's, poverty has stayed the same in america basically roughly unchanged as we said earlier from 2010 til now, two
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years later, for black folk it's gotten worse. so when the job numbers come out, they tend to reflect -- even if there's a slight drop as there was in august, you just referenced, but primarily owing to the fact that hundreds of thousands have stopped looking for work, that's the reason for that drop. but when the poverty numbers come out, it shows black folk have fallen more into poverty by 2.2, 2.1%. they're always worse in the african-american community. to some extent, that has been historical. but it raises a very impolitic question that doc and i have caught a lot of hell for which is to say to our fellow black american citizens that because you love and support and campaign for and contribute to this first black president, that does not mean that you surrender your right to make demands. it doesn't mean you surrender your responsibility to hold him accountable. and so we have been saying for years now, dr. west did 65 dates
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campaigning for mr. obama to get him elected, even the role i play on public radio, i don't endorse candidates. my job is to raise critical questions. but for african-americans in particular we have to ask ourselves whether or not the price we have paid for entrance to this party has been too high a price in that james baldwin sort of context. has the price been too high. and there's a great debate we could have for hours about that, we won't hold that up now. but the point is that black people are in a crisis right now. this may be our last best chance in black america to turn around, um, black people living beneath their privilege in this country. black folk have got some tough questions to ask. i'm not suggesting they're not going to vote for the president, they will. but it is going to be a question of turnout given the enthusiasm gap that the president rightly acknowledges. these are tough questions. >> host: cornel west, has your enthusiasm waxed or waned from twit for --
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>> guest: for my dear brother barack obama? oh, it hasn't waxed or waned, it has dropped. it has dropped significantly. i thought that he was going to be a statesman like lincoln and roosevelt. it turns out he's a politician like bill clinton. now, he's still a much better politician than mitt romney. i think mitt romney taking over the white house would be a catastrophe. but, so in that sense we recognize that barack obama's much better than mitt romney. but at the same time, he's head of a system where he doesn't have the kind of statesmanship and leadership to say i'm going to talk about poverty. i'm going to talk about the new jim crow. i'm going to talk about working people. i'm going to defend unions. i'm going to take a stand in chicago. i'm going to take a stand in the wisconsin, and i'm not going to drop those drones on innocent people. i don't believe in the militarism. tavis and i come out of the legacy of martin king, as i said before. poverty, militarism, racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-semitism, anti-arab,
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anti-islamic sensibility all must be called into question. so that's how we measure any president no matter what color. he's better than romney but still falls so far short, and we're very honest about this. so far in american history, especially for black people from slavery, jim crow to the new jim crow, the system has failed black poor, has failed white poor. middle class, fine. well-to-do, paradise. but poor people now 15% in poverty, 30 some percent near poverty, the system has failed them. so we have to keep track of the system even as we keep track of the politicians no matter what color. >> host: why is there a school named after your mother in sacramento? [laughter] >> guest: well, because she is one of the most magnificent individuals -- >> host: besides that. [laughter] >> guest: she was a magnificent first grade teacher, a magnificent principal. that's another reason why the teachers mean so much not just in chicago, but in any society
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for me because she's known as, you know, the great educator. and she's far beyond. if i could be one-half of the person my mother is, then i would not have lived in vain. >> guest: he's still being slightly modest. she broke racial barriers. we think of jim crow, we tend to think of the south, but dr. west often refers to jim crow jr. in the north, and horace greeley said go west, young man, but when they got west, they were met with racism out there as well. she broke a number of racial barriers in the sacramento area. >> guest: that's true. absolutely. >> guest: she's an icon. >> guest: but she's my mama. [laughter] >> host: cornel west graduated magna cum laude from harvard in three years. he got his master's and his ph.d. at princeton. tavis smiley originally from kokomo, indiana. force collins, colorado, john on our independent line. you are on with tavis smiley and
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cornel west. >> caller: hey, guys, you know, i watch this, and i work with a lot of people who are very i'd say right-wing kind of people. and their view on poverty is that it's just a bunch of shiftless people who don't want to get out there and get a job, and they just want to live off the government, and that's all they want. you know, and i think i'm referencing this because i think we really need as a nation -- because that's not true. and you know it and i know it. there's tons of people like that first lady that called. she's put herself through college, she's putting her daughter through college, and she's making, what, $13 an hour? you know, we need to put a real face on poverty, and it isn't those people, and it isn't a little shot at acorn, you know, one guy going in there for ten seconds creating stirs.
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we really need to get out there and show these people who believe everybody's shiftless. because i see this all the time. i'm what you call the knew slow poor, and i live in one of the most upper middle class neighborhoods in america in fort collins. i mean, we have more master's degrees here than any other city -- >> host: john, why do you call yourself neauveau poor? >> guest: because there's people like me who are white middle class people, and there's a lot of people who work for hp, lsi, advanced energy, and you'd think they're doing really good and they're really, you know, everything's all hunky-dory. well, then you meet their kids, and you find out both parents are working, and they're barely making it. >> host: cornel west. >> guest: brother john has a very, very powerful point that on our tour we've seen middle class dropping into the ranks of
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the poor. once making $150,000, now living in their cars. they lost jobs -- god bless you -- they lost jobs over which they had no control. they lost their jobs, lost their home, lost their health care and found themselves on the streets. i think most importantly it's a matter of recognizing that there is a growing group called the working poor, and you would think it would be oxymoronic in a prosperous society. but more and more working poor. one reason why we spend so much time talking about the minimum wage and the increase of the minimum wage. but the working poor are people who are engaged in the unbelievable sacrifice. and still wrestling with poverty. so this notion that poor people are lazy, that's part of the stereotype, that's part of the demonizing of poor people, that's part of the marginalizing and dehumanizing of poor people. >> host: ben from ohio e-mails: we have shipped our good jobs overseas, we import low-wage
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labor which reduces the bargaining power of workers. why is everybody surprised at the poverty result? >> guest: he's absolutely right. i mean, you're talking about multi-national corporations. when you really, really look at big banks, big corporations and, of course, the big money that's in some ways controlling both parties, the very real activity is capitalese, cheap labor. manufacturing base collapse. low wage sectors increase, and you've got high professionals making big,ing big money. in many ways they live in a world of their own. their allegiance more and more is not to the nation, but it's the profit. and the problem is how do you get some democratic control? i'm not talking about authoritarian control, but democratic control so that our precious working people locked in a low wage and locked into a shrinking middle class can have some kind of resources and
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dignity. >> guest: there's a new book out, and i think his name is pronounced fox, but it's jeff faux. and the book is called "ther is vent economy." not the service economy, "the servant economy." what he argues, i'm just starting to read the book now, but what he argues in the text is we're moving from the service economy to a servant economy, that these college students who are graduating now we all know who cannot find work are working beneath their privilege, working part-time, no benefits, etc., etc. he argues that given the way the economy's moving, they're going to become 30 and 40-year-olds still working subpar jobs. that with mountains of debt. and when you, you know, project out the future for this country, if we can't find good paying jobs, and you're right to your question, peter, we've lost our position as the world's leading manufacturer. so you start looking at what the opportunities are for college graduates. i'm starting to read this book,
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and i'm thinking i'm looking at his prediction for what's going to happen to the middle class, and i'm saying to myself, this is the middle class. we haven't even started talking about the poor. but if college graduates who are watching this program right now know they can't find work and they're back at home living with their parents, when they become 30 and 40, they're still not living up to their or creative potential with their college degrees. you start asking yourself whether or not mr. faux is right, are we moving from a service economy to a servant economy, and then you look at these numbers out yesterday about poverty, and you see that most significant takeaway is that the gap between the top and the bottom that doc was refereing earlier is continuing to grow. so you start to combine all of these facts, there's a report that came out the other day here in washington, peter. i'm sure you saw it from the organization capital kids. capital kids puts out a report that says that childhood poverty in the nation's capital, childhood poverty in washington is great or than it is in mexico.
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when you start putting all these reports together, the job numbers, the poverty numbers, the capital kids report, the agricultural department can report on food and security, you start putting all this together, we are stuck on stupid if we think that can continue to prosper as a nation. doc and i argue in this book, "the rich and the rest of us," that poverty's threatening our very democracy. it's not a republican or democratic issue. it is ultimately threatening our democracy. these numbers are not sustainable. you cannot grow a country, you cannot expand and grow a democracy with this kind of gap. we've got to deal with this. >> guest: and it is a moral and a spiritual issue, and that is to say what kind of nation and people do we really want to be? >> host: are you two members of the 1%? >> guest: i've been very fortunate. um, i started out, as i said, doc said today is my birthday, and i'm very grateful, um, for my parents who my father was an air force officer, um, served 37
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years, um, fighting for, defending the freedoms in this country. my mother was a homemaker. we were in poverty. ten kids. i have nine brothers and sisters. for ten of us my mother, my father and any grandmother, 13 of us in a three-bedroom, one-bathroom trailer. that's how i grew up. a trailer, not a house, with 13 people. so i know, i can one-up you all day long on poverty stories, holes in the shoes, hand-me-down clothes, broken cars, i get all that. i'm not poor anymore. but i believe that's where the responsibility comes in. to whom much is given, of them much is required. to whom much is given of them, much is expected. and the problem is that as dorothy hyatt used to say, doc, what was the phrase -- >> >> guest: lift as you climb. >> guest: too many of us are climbing, but we're not lifting as we climb.
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so i think the responsibility is greater on those of us who have been blessed to be a part of the 1%. if i would go support the guy who was looking out for my money, you know, in the way that he does, i might be a romney guy if it was just about the money. but it's not just about the money. it's about the condition and the suffering of fellow citizens. and in that regard you have got to call the system to question about the issue of poverty. >> host: senator obama used to come on your show quite a bit. has president obama been on your show? >> guest: he has not. he's welcome anytime. we've invited all the candidates to be a part of this poverty tour, to come show up and talk about the issue of poverty. >> guest: we had -- >> guest: the green party. he showed up yesterday in ohio. >> guest: very rich conversation. >> guest: mitt romney has sent a letter declining, his letter -- i thought it was funny -- the note from his staff said it's a worthy issue, but it doesn't fit into our schedule. we have not heard yea or nay from the obama people. so they are welcome, the vice president's welcome to join us. got three more days in battleground states, they're welcome to come talk to us.
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>> host: if people are in the area and want to join you in virginia, what should they go today? >> guest: tc williams high school, the high school made famously the movie "remember the titans." and then tomorrow in philadelphia at the tenth memorial baptist church in philadelphia. and then saturday we're in west palm beach at a high school, and i'm blanking -- middle school, and i'm blanking on the name of it. go to smileyandwest.com, all the details about our tour. >> guest: and delaware state. >> guest: tonight. >> host: for a lecture. chattanooga, temperature, jeremy on or democrats' line. you've been holding very patiently. >> caller: yeah, please, let me finish. thank you for having these guys on today, tavis and cornell. i agree with some of the things they see, but they don't get deep enough into the dialogue. actually what's going on, you know, his book coup named
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"romney and the rest of us." what do people have to do to realize president obama has to do what it takes in order to get reelected? he does not have the theory such as what is going on now in the united states. prime minister netanyahu injecting himself into the election specifically because there's no other way romney can win. so they're throwing everything they can at the wall. sooner or later the interest of the united states and israel were going to come into conflict. that period is now. also what you have, and you would never have nothing change, a list of senate -- unless the senate changes. it helps if you had ten, ten blacks in the senate and ten hispanics. everyone would have to come together, or you could get nothing passed. as long as you have the senate like it is, segregated, nothing is going to change because they're going to protect their interests, that's white americans. thank you. >> guest: no, i appreciate the
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brother's passion. i disagree with him. i don't think that it's just romney and the rich. i think -- and the poor. it's the rich and the poor. romney is part of that rich, that's why we're very critical of the kind of choices he makes in terms of what we perceive to be a callousness toward poor people. but the democratic party is also part of the big money and tied to big banks and tied -- it's much more an issue of class than race in this regard. if we had ten class thomass in the u.s. senate, it would not -- clarence thomass in the u.s. senate, it would be an impediment to that progress. and we had ten black folk who would sell their souls to wall street or ten brown folk who would sell their souls to wall street, it wouldn't make any difference in terms of the concern about poverty. this is a moral question and an issue of economic injustice. it's not just a question of dealing with this very vicious legacy of white supremacy that is very much a part of this country. i both agree and disagree, but
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i -- >> guest: i can only add one thing. two things, very quickly. one, dr. west and i have said consistently, again, 65 dates campaigning for barack obama to be president. and obama, obviously, won. um, so we understand everything he's been up against. we understand what he inherited. we understand how much worse it got when he got elected, my dear brother who called in. we understand republican obstructionism. we know what he's up against. but here's what we're saying since you raise the african-american issue, and you happen to be -- as we are, african-americans. i was talking about the issue of accountability for this president when he was running, you know, and risked becoming persona non grata for talking about holding him accountable. black folks said, tavis -- or more often travis, shut up. [laughter] let the negro get elected. let the president get elected. let him get elected first. just go somewhere, sit your black behind down and shut up. that's what i was told.
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that was the first moving of the goalpost. we've been talking about accountability for every other president, he shows up, don't say nothing, let him get elected. then he gets in, we move the goalpost again. he needs more time. we move the goalpost a second time. after three-and-a-half years, we move the goal post again, and now we say give him a second term, give him a second term. three times now african-americans who love and support the president, i get that, i'm one of 'em, we move the goalpost three times. now, if he gets a second term and all the folks that black folk have riding on him to deliver in the first two years of a second term before he becomes lame duck can, if nothing happens then, what are we going to say? all i'm saying is that you have to talk about accountability for every president; republican, democrat, black or white. you don't keep moving the goalpost to accommodate him. it's not about accommodation, it's about accountability. and that's all we're saying.
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doc and i have come up with a very simple phrase when it comes to explaining our position on this issue because we catch so much hell about it. what president obama or any president, for that matter, you respect the president, you protect the president, and when he's wrong, you correct the president. respect, protect, correct. that's our philosophy about this president. so it's not about hating on barack obama, it's not about not being sensitive, my brother, to what he's up against. we get all that. but it is about making demands, pushing him, holding him accountability for the best interests of all america. >> host: tavis smiley, we've covered several of your all-day seminars around the country. where is your next one and when do you plan it for? is. >> guest: right now january 17th here in washington at george washington university. hope c-span will cover it. three days before the inauguration of the next president. i was here on january 20th. and what we're going to get to, i think, this year, we're looking for as we always have an all-star panel of americans. and i think what we're going to
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really talk about this year is how we get the next president -- as doc suggested earlier, and can we call for in this your book -- how do you get the next president to call a white house conference on the eradication of poverty. bring in the poverty experts from the left and the right and the people themselves -- >> guest: that's right. >> guest: so we can create a bipartisan plan to cut poverty in half if ten years, it can be done, and eradicated in 25 years in the richest nation of the world. it can be done can. the democrats reminded us all day every day during their recent convention, they reminded us every day of the fact that the president signed lily ledbetter as his first official act once he was inaugurated. i'm glad he did, i support that, it was a beautiful thing to do. we're asking and demanding that the next president make his first official act, mr. obama, mr. romney, the first official act ought to be to call a white house conference on the eradication of poverty. bring these experts together and let us craft and create a plan to cut poverty in half for all
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americans and to eradicate poverty down the road. that's how you make poverty a priority, not the lip service, not referencing it here and there, but using the white house bully pulpit. lyndon johnson said it best, if the bully pulpit isn't given to you to do something with, then what the hell is it for? that's a quote from lyndon johnson. at some point we need a president, you know, that's going to make poverty a priority, and can nobody has done that since lyndon johnson even though we see the data every day about the trouble this democracy is in. >> host: finally, this tweet from john in north carolina referring back to your minimum wage proposal earlier. please raise the minimum wage to $10 or $22,000 a year. i have a couple of employees i need to unload anyway. talking as a small business owner. >> guest: he's being snarky there, i get that. >> guest: oh, i see that.
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of course, the minimum wage is not just for his precious workers, it's for workers across this country, so it might affect him adversely, but we're talking about workers across the board. we must say we make a big distinction between wall street and multi-national corporations as opposed to entrepreneurs and small business. if, in fact, small business people were treated in the way investment bankers are, traffic lights of dollars -- trillions of dollars, interest-free loans, money from the government, federal reserve, hardly say a mumbling word about this ugly unemployment, then i think he'd have a very different view as a small business person. they've been push today the margins in the way workers have been pushed to the par -- margins. we can't have a wall street-dominated society or government. >> host: the web site is smileyandwest.com. they will be at tc williams high school in alexandria, virginia, today at noon --
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>> guest: 10:00. >> host: sorry about that. 10:00 this morning, and the tour, the rest of the tour is available at smileyandwest.com. >> on "washington journal" tomorrow morning, congressman jim hines of connecticut will be here to discuss legislation in the house including the temporary spending bill and automatic budget cuts. then david johnson of the accept us bureau and susan hevey of reuters will talk about the census bureau's annual report on income, poverty and health insurance. "washington journal" live every morning starting at 7 eastern on c-span2. c-span. >> did you see the jobs report this morning, by the way? 95,000, i believe, net new jobs created and almost 400,000 people dropped out of the work force altogether. it's just simply unimaginable. >> today we learned that after losing around 800,000 jobs a month when i took office, business once again added jobs for the 30th month in a row.
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[cheers and applause] a total of more than 4.6 million jobs. >> watch and engage with c-span as the presidential campaigns move toward the october debates. domestic policy, including jobs, will be the topic of the first 90-minute debate wednesday the 3rd from the university of denver. tuesday, the 16th, the candidates take audience questions in a town hall format, and foreign policy will be the focus of the final debate monday, the 22nd. also watch the vice presidential candidates' debate, thursday the 11th from center college in danville, kentucky. and through election day we'll cover key house and senate races looking at the control of congress. follow our coverage on c-span, c-span radio and online at c-span.org. >> let's look at what the emancipation proclamation actually says, okay? the proclamation frees enslaved people in those states or parts of states still in rebellion. on january 1, 1863.
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does not free everybody. okay? just those states or parts of states still in rebellion. so there are several parishes in louisiana where slavery still exists because the union army does not have control over that area, okay? there are parts of virginia where the union army has a foothold, slavery still exists in those areas. >> president lincoln issued an early version of the emancipation proclamation following the union victory at antietam. this weekend on american history tv, edna green medford and other authors and historians take your questions on the battle and repercussions of the single bloodiest day of fighting in american history. sunday live from antietam national battlefield at noon eastern on c-span3. >> at the national press club, teamsters' president james hoffa talked about workers' issues in the 2012 campaign saying labor
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is under attack. next year he'll surpass his father, jimmy hoffa, to become the second longest-serving president in teamsters' history. the union represents 1.4 million workers. >> good afternoon and welcome to the national press club. my name is teresa westerner, and i am the 105th president of the national press club. we are the world's leading professional organization for journalists committed to our profession's future through our programming, events such as this while fostering a free press worldwide. for more information about the national press club, please visit our web site, www.press.org. to donate to programs offered to the public through our national press club journalism institute, please visit press.org/institute. on behalf of our members worldwide, i'd like to welcome our speaker and those of you attending today's event. our head table includes guests of our speaker as well as working journalists who are club
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members. and if you hear applause in our audience, we'd note that members of the general public are attending, so it is not necessarily evidence of a lack of journalistic objectivity. [laughter] i'd also like to welcome our c-span and our public radio audiences. our luncheons are also featured on our member-produced weekly podcast from the national press club available on itunes. you can also follow the action on twitter using hashtag npclunch. after our guest's speech concludes, we'll have a q&a, and i will ask as many questions as time permits. now i would like to introduce our head table guests, and i'd ask each of you here to stand up briefly as your name is announced. from your right, adam -- [inaudible] vice president of client strategy at tmp government. fast sir hamid, washington reporter for pakistan link. tiffany vlasic, member
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teamsters' local, first officer and a guest of our speaker. john vote, editor of cq roll call's executive briefing. ken hall, general secretary treasurer international brotherhood of teamsters and a guest of our speaker. donna -- [inaudible] reporter for "usa today" and 2009 president of the national press club and the speakers' committee member who organized today's lunch. i'm going to skip our speaker for just a moment. jonathan -- [inaudible] past president of the national press club. james jackson, member of the teamsters' local 639 ups employee and a guest of our speaker. david shepherdson, washington bureau chief of the detroit news. thank you all for joining us today. for as long as most folks can remember, the unions have given their time, labor and money to democrats only caseally breaking
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with tradition and endorsing a republican for president as they did with ronald reagan and george h.w. bush. this year they will keep with tradition and support president obama's re-election campaign. teamster president james p. hoffa, our speaker today, says the labor union with 1.4 million members supports president obama and has criticized republicans and mitt romney for favoring ceos over workers. after the rnc convention in tampa, he told the huffington post that romney wallets to annihilate -- wants to annihilate organized labor, but it's been a mixed bag during the obama administration. attempts to raise the minimum wage have failed even when democrats dominated the house and the senate. some union supporters say the democratic national committee took labor support for granted when they chose north carolina, a right-to-work state, with little union representation to host last week's convention.
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and free trade agreements signed by obama threaten to hurt american workers. meanwhile, the unions must juggle the demands and needs of their members wile sinking businesses -- while sinking businesses beg for mercy in a weak economy. earlier this week the teamsters edged fedex ceo fred smith to loosen his grip on the fedex board and to allow an independent chairman who could hold the line on escalating ceo pay instead of cutting jobs to bolster the company's bottom line. at no other time in our history, mr. hoffa says, has the labor movement seen so many anti-worker forces working together to take away productions and rights that we have fought so hard to secure. corporations have become too rich and too powerful. and mr. hoffa should know, he stood at the center of the fray since childhood. as the only son of legendary james r. hoffa, the second longest-serving president in teamster history, mr. hoffa grew
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up on the picket lines and union meetings. on his 18th birthday, he received his own union card. among his early union jobs, unloading freight from ships, truck driver, bus driver and heavy equipment operator. in 1966 mr. hoffa earned a law degree from the university of michigan and began a 25-year career as a teamster attorney representing members and local unions. he was elected president of the union in 1999. on march 19, 2013, mr. hoffa will surpass his father to become the second longest-serving general president in the 110-year history of the teamsters' union. please join me in welcoming to the national press club teamsters' president jim hoffa. [applause] >> thank you, madam president. it's a great pleasure to be here at the press club at this us a
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spishes time. there's so much going on in our country right now, and it's a great pleasure to be here with so many friends and so many people from the media and to talk about what the issues are today. first of all, i want to talk about the teamsters' union a little bit and talk about the fact that, you know, as madam president said, i was elected in the march of 1999 -- in mar of 1999, and we're very proud of what we've done with the union. we've taken this union from a union that was bankrupt, divided and falling apart literally and made it what it is today. when we took over, this union was a union where sister against sister, brother against brother, local against local, joint counsel against joint counsel. it was chaos, and we came in and reached out and reached out to those people that opposed us to say, enough. we cannot have a civil war in this union. we must unite this union. and fortunately, we have. we have built a strong union, and we are united today.
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recently we had an election, i'd like to talk about the fact that the teamsters' union has 1.4 million members. we're in the united states, we're in canada, we have 150,000 members in canada, we're in puerto rico. we are the most democratic union in the united states, we're very proud of that. and the fact is we are elected by the members. we are not elected by business agents, we are elected by ballots being mailed out to members all over the place. we mail out 1.4 million ballots, they came back and we won, and ken hall, my running meat over here -- mate over here, in a great slate we won roughly two-thirds of the vote, and i bet barack obama would like to have those numbers. [laughter] we're very proud of what we've done, and it shows the fact is in a tough economy and tough times, we're getting the job done. it's no secret we're in the middle of a tremendous recession. we have 23 million people out of work. but you really have to go back,
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you know, i had to laugh at the, you know, the convention you're talking about the fact of trying to blame barack obama for what happened as if no one remembers the bush administration, and no one remembers '08 with hank paulson and t.a.r.p.. everybody seems to have forgotten that, and the fact is that's where the catastrophe happened, that's where those days when wall street was going to collapse. we had aig, we had lehman brothers. we all remember that. it wasn't that long ago. and that's where the collapse began, and so we've been fighting out of that. and here we are three-and-a-half years later, we're not out of it yet. but it's better today than it was. so we're fighting back and getting the thing done. as you heard, they say 23 million people are out of work. the teamsters' union is surviving in this economy. we're fighting very, very hard. we've got a great union, and we find people that want to be organized. we've organized more than 150,000 people in the last five years. that is a tremendous achievement. in this economy, in the these
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tough times. because we've been able to reach out to bus drivers, we've been able to reach out to port workers, to airline pilots, and to airline mechanics, and we've been able to organize when other people haven't. so our union, while other unions have gone down, has kept its numbers there, and we're very proud today to have two teamsters with us, james over here from ups over here, and tiffany from our local group onallegiant. we just organized, and she's an airline pilot. one of the things we always say about the teamsters' union which i like to say is so many people say, we're all drivers. well, that's not true. the teamsters' is airline pilots to zookeepers. san diego zoo, thank you. [laughter] so we have people everywhere, and we're a wonderful union that is diversified. we have court reporters, we have lawyers, we have police officers, we really are a diverse, diverse union that covers the entire country and canada, and we're very, very proud of the fact that we've
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been able to achieve so much. .. where we had governors, republican governors elect it. we saw all of a sudden a tie and antiunion legislation. right to work, paycheck deception, basically controls on collective bargaining. we all saw the battles that have
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been in wisconsin and ohio and i was very, very fortunate to be part of that. i was in madison, wisconsin. we had 100,000 people at the state capitol protesting the fact that the governor had taken away collective bargaining for public employees. we had a chum and his battle there and today when we get an injunction against outlaw and even though we were not able to recall scott walker and the recall election from which the senate and stopped all the craziness for a while in wisconsin. so that's a battle we are fighting there. ohio is the same way. john kasich is cinema to see all the sudden taking on collective bargaining? no collective bargaining for public employees. that's unheard of in america. we've always had that. all of a sudden things are different and you get a republican house, republican senate and they're able to jam these things through an offer degrees ago. we have a problem there and were basically able to pass a law
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that basically stopped collective bargaining. but fortunately in ohio and again, this is labor working very, very hard. they have citizens speak out and basically were able to get over 700,000 petitions, get it on the ballot in overwhelmingly reactions to the legislature were defeated were able to restore collective bargaining. the same elsewhere, indiana, michigan. where did all this come from? it really is coming out of what is called the tea party. i mean we didn't have this attack with republicans or democrats. we didn't have it 10 years ago in all of a sudden there's this tidal wave of attacks on organized labor and basically almost a cultural change that we see going on in this country. it's really something to see. i've been around a while. i've never seen it and we are fighting back. i want everyone to know the union say basically fighting back along with other people to say were not going to let this happen. you saw what we did in ohio were
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fighting hard to make suree restore the balance in this country. we've seen a tidal wave of things that i don't think anybody thought they would ever see. you know, never seen this type of act commitee with regard to the tea party, with regard to 2010 is a tidal wave of change in this country. and really there's a cultural war going on. all of a sudden we see in many, many states legislation being introduced to basically suppress the vote. you said you have to give this type of i.d. there's articles today in the papers say that in pennsylvania it to basically suppress a hundred thousand votes in pennsylvania because of the new law there. we see it everywhere else and people are fighting back because that's basically -- is introducing a? the tea party in the right wing trying to suppress the vote. i had to laugh, jim crater on television, the stock i wrote a thing saying that even under the saw his father couldn't vote was
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90 years old and never missed a vote, but doesn't have the i.d. so you can vote this time. go to shows you how extensive this is what is he was going on in this country to basically suppress the vote. we also see a tidal wave of action with regard to pro-choice , attacking pro-choice, women's rights through medical health, the right to choose. again, we have over 33 states have introduced laws like that. was he was going on in virginia right now. really extreme measures that we didn't see before, but it's part of a cultural revolution going on with regard to the republicans and the koch brothers and everybody to say we want to change america back. basically what we get down to is the choice is going to happen on november 6. this is coming down to almost a cultural choice. this is more than mitt romney
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versus barack obama. this is becoming almost cultural. it's a cultural change, the types of changes they want to make in this country. i think it's extraordinary we see this going on today and it's amazing we see what is going on with the attacks on labor. many say why they're attacking labor. the right wing believes and knows that labor is about the democratic party, that one of the progressive movement. we are basically the ones that backs the eight hour day, while the basic reforms we take for granted were passed by organized labor, going back 50 years from 100 years. we are the bad own. we are strong, organized. we have money and we have boots on the ground. we are basically fighting this attack we are under right now, the warm workers that we've never seen before and basically that is something completely new. you're taking this on because they realize they cannot cut
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labor. if they cannot go public employees, they can knock out organized labor and the national right to work that they can basically turn this country around. they'll have a free run because we are the only ones that stand in the way of this movement that they have, that basically is out there to turn america far to the right. so that's the reason why we are under attack as never before appeared we have to keep rattling on. recently i attended the democratic convention and it was an amazing event. i'm a democrat, no surprise. and you know, it was amazing when you contrast that convention with the republican convention, which i watched on television. you know, you had all the speeches from the republicans talking about our forefathers, talking about their aunt or uncle, what a tough life they had, how they got here. but i didn't hear anybody talking about the voucher system.
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i didn't hear about tax cuts for the rich. i didn't hear about cutting medicare, medicaid. thinking about getting rid of food stamps or cutting them back. they didn't talk about what they really believed then and what is on their website and listen their platform. recently in their platform for the first time they are basically national right to work. they're against them in which group you want to get rid of the inheritance and capital gains. but i didn't hear anybody talk about that at the convention. if they talked about that they would never get elected. so they can take of this convention and basically talk about forefathers and how great the country is and how we have 23 million people unemployed, but not lay out a plan to save the way we put people back to work is through tax cuts for the rich. what an idea. that's what they believe. and they should have said that because that's what they're running on. be honest with the american people. if that's the choice, let's make
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the choice and let everybody know or talking about and go talk about this issues. the other thing i thought was interesting was that the republicans are rewriting history. when he went to the conventions, unheard of the previous president wasn't there. i couldn't find george bush anywhere. i couldn't find her friend, dick cheney. i mean, where was sarah palin? they didn't want them there because it reminds people of those eight years they've written off that never happened. there is no wait years, there was a recession. there were no wars. nothing ever happened during those eight years and i want to tell everybody today that history began when barack obama took over. he's responsible for the recession. he's responsible for people being unemployed. everything is his fault and none of the things george bush did during his time with t.a.r.p., lehman brothers and the collapse of wall street never happen. we're starting from day one.
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basically start day one new calendars. so it's very unusual was going on and i think it's amazing and i hope people have seen not are talking about that. you know you talk about being anti-labor. one of the reporters when i did media are said to me, do you think there is a chance that labor in the republicans should get together in the future? i looked at him, he said they went national right to order. they want to give it a project labor agreements and everything that we work for the past 40 years and you want me to get where they have never been this extreme? there was a time people talk to me being nixon or maybe in another era there was some talk, but not anymore because things have changed in the republican party has veered so much to write a think it's amazing both culturally with regard to almost everything we're talking about they have become the far, far right of this country. and it reminds me enameled not
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to remember the john birch society november john birch society. many of you do, too. barry goldwater and he ran against lyndon johnson in 1964. they had an extreme right wing idea that everybody was a communist and all this stuff. i see basically the same thing today with a tea party and some of the research shows the koch brothers, their forefathers were part of the society. so it's kind of come around. new john birch society n called a tea party. now we go to a far-off place and roll the clock back to 1890. that is what we are facing today. the other thing that impressed with a look at the democratic party of law all different people they are and i said this is the big tent. they really have everybody there. the of labor, women, gays,
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hispanics. but i looked at republican party is all i saw was the 1% is. the face of those people that convention looking like the rotary club. so that's kind of the changes we have right now. so we're basically talking about where did we go from here and what can we do for this country right now? you know, i think that the battles are coming up. this election is going to decide the law. every election we talked about forever -- every speech every four years we say this is the most important election ever. for the first time, this is the most important election ever because this election is really going to decide everything. it's going to decide whether the rich get richer or whether we're going up social security, medicare. it's going to be a watershed in this country because much is writing on this election. the question is, who's going to win in what's going to happen in the senate? the user while the issues that
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are decided november 6. and so we are urging members and working hard to get the vote out. other units working very, very hard to get the photo to make sure we get people registered, to the polls. with regard to money, we will never be able to spend as much money as the far right. i was reading an article recently in about who's backing mitt romney? where does he get money from? it was interesting because it's our friends the koch brothers put in hundreds of millions of dollars into this election. we know who they are. and then a guy by the name of sheldon adelson, the guy who owns the venetian las vegas says he can put in maybe 100 million. here are to put in 10 gingrich. that's not a very good bet. he didn't do very well on that one. and then a guy named harold simmons. he's the guy that did this with those spirit is a multimillionaire. bob perry, another swift boat guy, multimillionaire putting millions of dollars into this
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campaign. a guy by the name of jim davis. these are names you don't know other day. jim davis has new balance shoes. he's one of these right wing guys that puts millions of dollars into the campaign. democrat to people that will inherit the marriott hotel, nice hotels, crazy ideas putting millions of dollars into this election. of course we've got our friend, carl rove and his status crossroads of america putting in millions of dollars. but i'm getting at is it's handful of people, maybe six to eight people who will spend more money on this election than all of organized labor and i would say over 100 million americans. they won't put that kind of money in this election and i think people like to say, is that good for the country? is that what our forefathers saw that a handful of people, six to eight people couldn't put more money in an election and control events more than maybe 100 million people that work with their hands every day, the
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13 million people and families in the labor movement and the other people not in labor movement that are out there working every day and doing the hard work. there's something wrong with that and that goes back to citizens united is citizens united was the worst thing that ever happened to this country right now. it's upsetting the balance and democracy. i think obama is going to win, but what does this pertain for the future? eventually they get richer and richer and more money goes into campaigns and we see the sad. these ads are persuasive, well done and they can take somebody that's a good candidate and turn them into the devil. the unlimited money is on balancing the entire political spectrum. something has to be done about that and i suggest are going to have to have a constitutional amendment to change that. we've got to start talking about other things. after november 6 we talk about what are we going to do and how do we start rebuilding america? is going to be a decisive election. barack obama is going to end.
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once he wins, what to say when? four more years of the same name? give up on anything. a congress that won't pass the legislation? my job is to make them feel and i will make sure he feels it is that we want for the next four years? we have to really think about if he wins and when he went, what does the when and where do we go from here? how do we change america? we've got a number one, start bringing jobs back to this country. 23 million jobs, many jobs are gone, gone forever. something wrong with the country that is searches we are that we can't balance the budget. there's something wrong with the people i've been talking about don't pay their fair share of taxes when they want to move taxis from 4% or 5% currently say we can't do that in the holds of every thing. there's something wrong with
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that. there's something wrong with corporations in america that don't pay taxes is all. general electric doesn't pay taxes, bowing distantly taxes. what's going on here? how can you make a list of dollars? i don't care what lawyer you have come you should be paying taxes and see how that would help us balance the budget if we had more income. they found a way to whittle the system. i had to laugh, not last. it's tragic. chenoa trick not only didn't pay is after they made billions of dollars in this country, but they got a rebate. that's amazing. there's something wrong with our tax laws. we've got to change our trade laws and basically change the law but says he'll be rewarded and tax code if you bring jobs back, if you build factories here. we have corporations right now. i was certain this morning muti says corp. said on over $1.5 trillion in cash right now, moody's this morning. why would putting that money to
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work to start rebuilding this country? what are they waiting for? is something going to happen? sunbelt will go off? start investing in this country. they've got to do that. we've also got to start making sure, like i said, change citizens united to the effect of a constitutional amendment to get this back and think for somebody that's not 100 million times more opportunity and more clout than i have because he can buy ads and do things like that. we've got to have more american stimulus, but we've got to rebuild our roads and start doing the infrastructure. these are the things people up inside meson. the president tries to rebuild the infrastructure they say no. he wants to build air force. he says no to that. he wants to extend unemployment benefits. they say no, we're going to hold that hostage. every issue he comes up with that helps america rebuilt he's been opposed by republicans and they've got to find some way to change that. what i suggest is after this election are going to have to
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have a sit down and i think the president -- and surely knows what to do, we'll sit down with republicans and say do we really want this for america? do we want four more years of the deadlock or we can't balance their budget, where we can't move ahead and put people back to work as a politics? you know, the old story about the red states and blue states, we've got to tell them we are the united states and that's what we've got to start doing. we've got to start making sure these people change their way. the mitch mcconnell so the world saves my job to make him fail, does he really went to a former years former years of failure? is that what he wants? to cc is an american that's good for america? i say no and i say somehow we have to basically appeal to the better nature of the resources to say, how do we start together rebuilt in this country? had we start doing things we had to put fellow americans back to work?
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how do we get jobs here, new jobs in eight people have a good living and a good life in this country? how do we create opportunity in this country? that is the key issue that america faces after this election. so i think that can be done. i wanted thank you for being here. thank you very much. great to be here. [applause] b. mac when he took office canoe appeared at the republican convention and talked about the teamsters being bipartisan. that didn't happen. why? >> that's true. we appeared at the republican convention and basically we thought we could build bridges to the president at that time, bush appeared with him after a short period of time they were not sincere, then it we said okay, i'm here for the photo ops, i'm for that, but we want to do this with regard to trade,
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with regard to jobs. they said that's not what we're talking about. we want to use you. we said this is not why -- why we've reached out to you. we felt we could reach out to them. didn't last very long. we found out they really were sincere about helping neighbor, helping people get their jobs back and after that we got a divorce. >> supporters of unlimited money in politics say the citizens united decisions even the playing field with favor by spending millions on behalf of his favorite candidate. how do you respond? >> as irish as saying, they are going to spend hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars. just take the eight people i listed. that was another super packs, all the different packs we had. all the units, first of all, what is the money come from? it comes from americans, workers who contribute money themselves to a campaign.
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they go into their pocket and basically say i want to be part of the political process. what we spend is basically so small compared to what they have. as the old story is, we've got the boots on the ground, but they were outspent us eight to one. the outspent us in wisconsin, and a lot that is in. there is no comparison and citizens united was a terrible decision, political decision and i think the way the court to set up, we'll probably be a long time to change it and we need a constitutional amendment, otherwise it will destroy america. >> how much money do you plan to spend on the 2012 campaign? >> that's a secret question, but will be spending what we always spend. but it's not enough. i mean, we do not have enough money to do what we want with regard to this campaign. we can't reach at the way we want to. we have to basically call her
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local unions to say, we finance people to go out and campaign? what you do that with your treasury? the international doesn't have enough money do i come this week ago the locals, councils and do that. specifics we don't care. but we're going to do basically the money we get from our members and do as much as we can. but again, will be out spending two to one. >> what are you doing to make sure teamster members said in a vote for president obama? >> were basically going out and talking to people. and our building was probably a 400 or 500 people. i plan to go out and stomp all over this country attacked union members and tell them, you know, keep your eye on the prize, basically vote your pocketbook. these people are out to take away your union. both take away the national right to work and take away what you take for granted. all of our people make good money were proud of what we've done. part of the standard of living, proud that we have brought people into the middle class.
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and sometimes our members don't understand not. i'll pull up my wallet and say look at this wallet. this is about you and your family. if you didn't have this union, you would enjoy the life you have. you wouldn't have the health care you have come in to pension you have. so we're going to preach that everywhere will be hitting all the battleground states and looking forward to it. >> of you tell them to vote with their wallet and no worse off today than they were for years ago, how do they justify voting yourway? >> well, i don't think people are worse off than they are. i like the question. that was the big buzzword. are you better off today? on its usb auto workers in michigan and ohio who now have jobs, who was laid off in our back to work. as for card holders back to work because the auto industry is going on. asked some of our people come in the thousands of people that work and parts suppliers that are basically back to work right
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now. they are better off. you take michigan where i'm from in ohio we have lower unemployment than the national average. things are better. >> what lessons does organized labor keep in the political global fight over president obama's health care reform. >> to health care reforms i think are good because i think this country needs basically national health care. we didn't get it. you've got something that's not national health care, the something no good health health care to 30 million people. he does cause problems for unions structurally, but overall, how could you argue with the fact show be able to get insurance if you have a preexisting illness? how can you argue with the fact that your kid can stay on your payroll, your insurance until you're 26? how can you argue with the fact that you remove caps and if you get really sick and go for a million dollars of coverage.
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i mean, there's so many good things in the affordable health care at but i think it's good and actually were talking about touring members. >> audi while congress and the president to avoid the physical cliff later this year, the impending combination of tax hikes and automatic budget cuts? >> well, that crisis is coming and that's exactly what i'm talking about. it really has to be a sit down. somebody has to say okay, we won. i wish you had to do? the same thing you been doing for four years or do you want to really try and solve america's problems that we were sent here for? that's the issue we face and i think the issue that's going to come up to solve that problem. it is amazing the problems going to be huge, but i think basically the democrats in the administration is going to go all the way with this to say we have to have change. we have to have more revenue. you know, at one point the
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president basically said i'll do 10 to one. you give me a billion dollars in new revenue wanaque $10 billion. that's a deal, but he didn't take it. that's amazing. i think were back to something like that. but i do think there will not be a crisis. hopefully they will solve this problem. but if they don't solve the problem, and they will do some basically -- some kind of a jerryrigged to give it a crisis and you'll not have the cuts that are prescribed. >> , should the fed do to strengthen the economy through monetary policy qua how much of the fed do to strengthen the economy through monetary policy? >> the fed has been doing a lot. though interest rates, a lot of things. doesn't seem to be working, that people are refinancing, hoping the economy. businesses are refinancing and talking about a new stimulus coming up. these are all these are all and
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the republicans are against any stimulus. one of the things i like to talk about is the fact that anybody that doesn't toe the line that the republicans they go after -- the tea party goes after a think about arlen specter who voted for the stimulus who was a republican. the minute he did that they ran somebody against him. that's just amazing. anybody who doesn't toe the line to basically go after because with them there's only one way that is no compromise. we need to bring that to partisanship and compromise because that is how deals are going to be made. those are words that seem to disappear from the republican lexicon. >> this labor consider itself to be part of solution to the current economic woes and what specifically can labor due to bring bring america rowing back? >> i think we can continue to do what were doing. number one, liked barack obama. that's number one. number two, we were up to
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basically working on legislation, working on plans to get america moving again, put people back to work. we are working with the administration can the democrats in the house and senate to come up with bills that we can start rebuilding america, shovel ready jobs or we can get bridges, roads, tunnels rebuilt, put people back to work here briseno at the auto industry. we need more things like that better putting people back to work better brio and you can count and look at them and say 100, 200,000 people are back to work because of that action and outworked. >> how can labor help challenge foreign companies like fox con to make the american century? >> well, that's one of the really embarrassing things with regard to fox con. and it's just amazing that we have all this going on and in a company as rich as apple continues to find out all their
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work, why can't they build a plant in california? what would be wrong with that? why can't they start bringing jobs back? and then of course we have the scandal, maybe you don't know who that is. fox con effect 400,000 people in china and making these computers and laptops and things like that. and they really have terrible working conditions and it's become a scandal. and that is something that the way to solve that we really can't do much with china. but what we can do is say let's bring those jobs back here where we decent wages and safe working conditions. [applause] >> the all traditional manufacturing service job, how it's organized labor above in to match a changing economy, one that must keep costs low inflexibility hide? >> well, were doing everything we can. you know, if you see this